British Columbia

Residents displaced for months after natural gas explosion in Richmond

A number of residents of Richmond condominium complex will be out of their homes for months after a natural gas explosion Wednesday.

Explosion was triggered by maintenance work on gas fireplaces

Some residents will be out of their homes for months. (Harman/CBC)

A number of residents of a Richmond condominium complex will be out of their homes for months after a natural gas explosion Wednesday afternoon.

Richmond Fire deputy chief Kevin Gray said they were called to the complex at No.2 Road, south of Andrews Road, around 1 p.m.

There were no injuries, and many residents have been able to return to their homes.

The explosion was caused by maintenance work on gas fireplaces.

Gray said four units were secured for investigative purposes, and five or six other suites have water damage from the sprinkler system.

Mike Cappieollo was in his fourth floor apartment with he heard what sounded like a loud bang.

Twenty five firefighters responded to the scene. (Harman/CBC)

"It didn't seem like an explosion. It seemed like a big rock had fallen on the building  and there was a little bit of shaking," said Cappieollo, who knew there were workers on the roof.

"I quickly rushed up and found that the workers were okay and that was good."

Twenty five firefighters were dispatched to the scene and evacuated the building. 

Cappieollo lives in one of the water-damaged apartments, but said he considers himself lucky.

"It was bad, but it could've been a lot worse," he said.

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