Dozens of farmworkers have been left temporarily homeless after a fire tore through a worker’s bunkhouse in Abbotsford Thursday morning.
The fire broke out just before 9:30 a.m. in a building that housed between 60 and 80 employees at Lakeland Flowers, in the 3900 block of No. 4 Road in Abbotsford.
All of the workers are accounted for, and the farm’s owner said they are trying to find them accommodation for Thursday night. The state of the workers’ possessions is not yet known, and a representative from the Mexican consulate is expected on scene shortly.
Five fire crews responded to the blaze, which belched smoke over Highway 1 but didn’t significantly impact traffic. Crews were able to knock down the flames fairly quickly upon arriving.
78 Seasonal Agricultural Mexican Workers are safe and are in the process to be relocated to other farms. Consul Hugo Velazquez from the Consulate General of Mexico is on scene.
— Patricia de la Maza (@patydelamaza) April 26, 2018
A representative from the Mexican consulate in Vancouver said that 78 farmworkers were displaced by the fire. Patricia de la Maza tweeted that they were being relocated to other farms.
A farm building is on fire in east #Abbotsford on No. 4 Road. Firefighters on scene. Witnesses say everyone is believed to have gotten out of the farmworkers' quarters safely. pic.twitter.com/N7fqJMirE4
— Abbotsford News (@AbbyNews) April 26, 2018
— Kevin Macdonald (@kevinamacdonald) April 26, 2018