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Dozens of people displaced, looking for next steps after massive fire in White Rock

Last Updated May 16, 2016 at 5:33 pm PDT

(Kenny Mason, NEWS 1130 photo)

WHITE ROCK (NEWS 1130) – Dozens of people are out of their homes after a three-alarm fire around Johnston Road and Pacific Avenue in White Rock.

The fire happened yesterday and today, fire crews are still cleaning up and police have blocks around the site taped off. People who lived in the apartment building are waiting for a meeting this afternoon with police and fire officials.

Meanwhile, Patrick with nearby Ronnie’s restaurant has teamed up with the owners of a couple of Cobb’s Bakeries to reach out to those affected. “Anybody’s more than [welcome] to come down and relax and have some coffee, free pastries and doughnuts — we’re going to be here all day.”

City Engineer Bob Ambardar explains there is a chance contaminants have entered the water lines. “There is a boil water advisory issued in White Rock due to a major structural fire water supply has been drawn down to low levels.”

There’s no word on when the advisory will be lifted, but he stresses it is only a precautionary measure.

A newly built three-storey apartment building has been gutted and a neighbouring building is also badly damaged.

There was a thick haze of smoke and a heavy smell of fire in the area yesterday, as a crowd of about 100 people gathered to watch crews knock the fire down.”

A woman who lives in the area called yesterday to describe the scene. “My car is covered with particles of ash the size of baseballs. It is covered with paint chips, and pieces of drywall.”

Over 100 evacuees were taken to a nearby arena while crews work to put out the flames and asses the damage.

One man suffered minor injuries after tripping while trying to escape the building.

Listen to an interview with a witness: