A young Langford couple whose balcony caught fire last week says they’ve lost their home and most of their belongings.
Chelsea Chase, 24 and boyfriend Seamus Moloney, 25, moved into the Evo building in July. On Oct. 8, a fire started on their balcony, and roughly 100 residents were evacuated from the building. Firefighters douse the flames, but their efforts left considerable water damage and an uncertain future for several tenants, especially Chase and Moloney. The couple doesn’t have renters insurance, and estimate losses to be between $10,000 and $15,000.
“We were just kind of getting our life in order,” Chase said. “We will have to replace everything and a lot of things are not replaceable.”
Chase was home when the fire started. She recalls hearing a loud pop and glass breaking before she saw flames coming out of the balcony. She ran into the building’s hallway and pulled the fire alarm before calling 911.
“I was terrified,” she recalled. “I saw the flames coming inside from the patio.”
Langford, Colwood and View Royal fire crews tackled the blaze from above, cutting open the roof to stop the fire from spreading further. The quick response saved the building, but Chase and Moloney’s suite is now uninhabitable – possibly for up to eight months.
|A fire that ripped through the balcony of a Langford apartment unit Thursday afternoon was quickly extinguished by firefighters, but that unit, and others, will be impacted by water damage. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)|
The cause still hasn’t been determined Chase said, but neither herself nor Moloney were anywhere near the porch when the fire started.
No one was injured, but the couple has since started encouraging their friends to get tenant insurance. Along with computers, equipment and other belongings, Chase lost a blanket that had been knit by her grandmother.
A GoFundMe campaign was created to raise money for the pair as they rebuild their lives.
“Now we know how much love and support we have with friends and family,” Chase said. “You don’t always know those things until you’re in a situation like that.”
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