CALGARY -- Bankview residents displaced by a condominium fire two weeks ago have been told it will be at least 16 months before they will be allowed back into their homes.

Valhalla View went up in flames less than two weeks ago, forcing residents in the building's 56 units to make home elsewhere. 

According to the property manager, the fire has damaged the majority of the fourth and fifth floors while the lower three levels sustained extensive water damage.

"The ceiling has been caved in, (there are) some structural issues," said Thomas Young.

Young said the 16-month timeline is an estimate for repairs and remediation as the cause of the fire remains under investigation.

The three-alarm fire broke out on the afternoon of Dec. 20 and fire officials worked into the following day to contain hotspots.

No one was injured, but it's believed two cats were lost.

Helping displaced residents

Sunday was the first time residents heard when they would be able to return to their homes. 

"Not only, as a property manager, do I want the property to do well, but all the residents," Young said.

"I really want to help them and do everything I can to get them back into their homes and get them what they need right now."

He gathered affected residents for a meeting on Saturday to share the updates, and said information could also be found on their Facebook page.

Some residents are underinsured and are paying out of pocket for living expenses, said Young.

"If anybody does have housing or can offer discounted housing for some of these residents, contact me."

'They're angels'

Robin and Priyanka Malhotra returned Sunday and were escorted by security officials to their ground-level unit to retrieve some belongings.

"We cannot thank Tom (Young) and his wife enough," said Robin Malhotra. "They've devoted their entire vacation, their Christmas time, their family time, to the residents of this community."

"They're angels."

Although the Malhotras are trying to rebuild their life again after recently moving to Calgary from India, they say they've found a bright spot. 

"Newcomers like us to this wonderful community, we are so blessed that we got a chance to be a part of this community who became our family."