Two Vancouver tenants have been ordered to pay more than $500,000 following a November 2017 apartment fire that a judge ruled was “foreseeable.”
B.C. Supreme Court Justice Matthew Kirchner ruled Angela Chou created a risk of harm and fire by keeping her apartment “in a near-hoarding state” with densely packed items covering most of the floor space.
Chou and her former partner Danny Chen, who was not living there but was still listed as a tenant, have been ordered to pay the Langara Gardens apartment building more than $512,000 for damages caused by the fire.
The fire spread to other apartments, and the court ruled Chou will also pay $56,000 to Langara Gardens for the rent lost while 10 units were repaired.
A fire investigator testified that the blaze started when household goods in the unit, likely a box or a pillowcase, made contact with a halogen bulb when Chou was momentarily out of the room.
Kirchner’s ruling, released online Friday, says Chou created the “unreasonable risk of harm,” and risk of fire in particular, because of the stacked, combustible material kept in her apartment.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 16, 2023.