Security guards stand beside the rubble Saturday after a fire ripped through Windsor Plywood and Canadian Liquidation on Friday, Dec. 20, 2019. (Paul Henderson/ The Progress)

UPDATE: Massive fire destroys Windsor Plywood and Canadian Liquidation in Chilliwack

Customer alerted staff to fire which “aggressively” spread throughout store and to adjacent business

A massive fire that erupted Friday afternoon at Windsor Plywood and spread to the adjoining Canadian Liquidation store destroyed both businesses located north of the Southern Rail line on Vedder Road.

It was a customer of Windsor Plywood who alerted staff to the fire which started in the door- and lumber-storage area after 2 p.m. Staff evacuated customers and themselves from the building and called 911.

(See below for more photos.)

Chilliwack Fire Department crews answered the call that came in about 2:30 p.m. as flames and smoke could be seen billowing from the 7100-block of Vedder Road.

The fire spread quickly and aggressively from the storage area to the main store, and then to the south engulfing Canadian Liquidation. Both businesses were located in the same building.

The walls and roof of the building collapsed as a result and an excavator was brought in to systematically open up the building to enable firefighters to safely gain access to extinguish the fire.

Canadian Liquidation posted to their Facebook advising people to stay away from the area and confirming their building is on fire.

Chilliwack fire dispatch was calling for backup by 3:15 p.m., and more crews were still on the way at 3:45 p.m.

There were reports that the nearby trains were being halted on the tracks.

BC Hydro reported that 4,050 customers in the Sardis and Promontory areas were without power by 3:30 p.m. with another power outage reported shortly after that affecting 1,288 customers north and south of the freeway.

Fire crews were successful in stopping the blaze from spreading to nearby properties and businesses including Excel Martial Arts, which is located in a building right next door and was saved except for some damage to siding.

“Thank you a million times over to the Chilliwack Fire Department,” Adam Gibson of Excel Martial Arts wrote on Facebook. “I feel sad for the owners and staff of Windsor Plywood and Canadian Liquidation. They are our friends and neighbours and now their lives have been turned upside down,”

“If the fire had started 15 minutes later, we would have been evacuating the building with a whole wack of kids,” he added.

MLA Laurie Throness, whose office is just a few doors down from the fire, expressed his sadness and condolences on his Facebook page on Friday afternoon.

“Unfortunately, there is sadness and celebration at Christmas,” he wrote. “This afternoon Windsor Plywood in Sardis burnt down, just a few doors away from my office. Our firefighters are doing a great job, keeping the fire from adjacent buildings.”

Traffic on all nearby roads was chaotic for several hours as a result of the fire, dealing which spread into rush hour on the Friday before Christmas.

There were no civilian or firefighter injuries.

The cause of the fire is unknown at this time and is under investigation.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Chilliwack fire crews dealt with a massive fire at Windsor Plywood on Vedder Road on Dec. 20, 2019 in the afternoon. The blaze destroyed the business, and was damaging and threatening adjacent buildings. (Paul Henderson/ The Progress)

Chilliwack fire crews dealt with a massive fire at Windsor Plywood on Vedder Road on Dec. 20, 2019 in the afternoon. The blaze destroyed the business, and was damaging and threatening adjacent buildings. (Paul Henderson/ The Progress)

Just Posted

Upper Fraser Valley RCMP re-open community policing offices

CPOs have been closed for weeks in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, but re-opened Tuesday

PHOTOS: Sunbathers soak up the warm weather at Cultus Lake Park

Temperatures reached a high of 25 degrees celsius on Tuesday, marking the hottest day of July so far

RCMP ask for assistance to find missing Chilliwack man

Raymond Gene Jarvis has been missing since early July

Popkum fire chief urges caution after Saturday rescue from Bridal Veil Falls

11-year-old boy was stable, fire chief Walter Roos said, when delivered to a waiting ambulance

City of Chilliwack watching RCMP unionization process carefully

‘We know that this will impact our RCMP contract once an agreement is reached’ – Mayor Ken Popove

Recent surge in COVID-19 cases not unexpected amid Phase Three of reopening: B.C.’s top doc

Keep circles small, wear masks and be aware of symptoms, Dr. Bonnie Henry says

Thousands of dollars of stolen rice traced to Langley warehouse

Police raid seizes $75,000 in ‘commercial scale’ theft case

UPDATE: Mission spray park closed after children suffer swollen eyes, burns

Mission RCMP are investigating incident that injured several children

B.C. NDP changing WorkSafeBC regulations to respond to COVID-19

Employers say reclassifying coronavirus could be ‘ruinous’

Baby raccoon rescued from 10-foot deep drainage pipe on Vancouver Island

‘Its cries were loud, pitiful and heartbreaking,’ Saanich animal control officer says

Statistical flaws led to B.C. wolf cull which didn’t save endangered caribou as estimated

Study finds statistical flaws in an influential 2019 report supporting a wolf cull

Surrey’s first Ethics Commissioner brings ‘objectivity’ to the job

Vancouver lawyer Reece Harding is Surrey’s first Ethics Commissioner, also a first for B.C.

Windows broken, racist graffiti left on Okanagan home

Family says nothing like this has happened since they moved to Summerland in 1980s

19 times on 19th birthday: Langley teen goes from crutches to conquering Abby Grind

Kaden Van Buren started at midnight on Saturday. By 3 p.m. he had completed the trek 19 times.

Most Read