On July 7, 2013, fire displaced the occupants of 22 units from Champlain Ridge, a 75 unit Vancouver strata building. While the fire, thankfully, did not result in any loss of life, Champlain Ridge residents are still, seven weeks later, dealing with the fall-out from the blaze.

The cause of the fire is unknown at this time.

“The fire spread throughout the building via attic crawl spaces between units, making it particularly hard for the 86 firefighters that attended the four-alarm fire to extinguish,” said Lorne Prupas, council president of Champlain Ridge.

“In the end, between 6 and 8 units of the 22 units affected were very badly damaged by the fire; however, the majority of the other units sustained significant water damage or may be inaccessible due to construction and security concerns. Of the 22 units affected, 4 units did not have home insurance. Residents will be unable to re-enter their units for up to 18 months.

“The residents of the 4 units that did not have home insurance are being impacted the most by the incident. Think of the financial cost and stress of having to find another home while continuing to pay a mortgage on your home affected by the fire. Families also have school starting in a few days. It’s a stressful time,” said Prupas.

The community is rallying in support of the displaced residents of Champlain Ridge. Staff and patrons of the local Village Pub held a fundraiser that has raised $9,000 so far. Funds have also been contributed by local Lions Clubs and the Fire Fighter’s Union. Emergency Social Services are helping people who have been displaced. The Red Cross is providing follow-up support to those in need. Additionally, Champlain Ridge residents themselves are donating homewares to fellow residents affected by the fire.

The residents of Champlain Ridge would like to thank their neighbours at Cedar Mill and Kinross Creek housing co-op’s for their generous support. Property manager Leslie Brock from ColyVan Urban continues to do a great job as the community rebuilds.

Champlain Ridge will be holding their annual block party on September 7. “The block party allows us to look ahead and show support for the Champlain Ridge community. We encourage our neighbours from Cedar Mill and Kinross Creek housing co-op’s to attend so that we can express our gratitude in person,” said Prupas.

Please help out. Donations can be made to Champlain Ridge residents affected by the fire at any VanCity branch (Account name: Champlain Ridge Fire Relief In Trust, account number: 636191).

Got a comment about the Champlain Ridge Fire? We’d love to hear from you.

In the interest of full disclosure, Champlain Ridge and property management company ColyVan Urban are MiCasa customers. A case study detailing MiCasa’s performance as a communication medium during the Champlain Ridge fire will be released in the coming weeks. Stay tuned!


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