Maple Ridge family loses home to fire

Maple Ridge family loses home to fire

Had no insurance, starting over

The house on 227th Street looks to be partially burned from the outside, but the impact on a Maple Ridge family home is total devastation.

Angela Hillyard, her husband Brian and their two young grandchildren were woken by neighbours who saw smoke coming from their house in the 12200-block of 227th Street at approximately 5 a.m. on Friday.

“The neighbours were amazing. They woke us up, and we were lucky to get out alive,” she said.

Her grandson’s bedroom shared a wall with the carport, where the fire is believed to have started.

“That crib is incinerated. His whole room is gone,” she said.

The 15-month-old boy, Landon, on grandma’s hip, looks at the house and holds his hand out to it.

“No, we can’t go there anymore,” she tells him.

Another bedroom also sustained severe fire damage, and there is heat and smoke damage throughout. At this point, they just hope to be able to salvage a few family mementos.

The family had no insurance, and they are starting all over.

Seven-year-old Ksenya has been hit hardest by the fire.

“My granddaughter is devastated. Her toys and clothes are all gone,” Hillyard said.

She was able to take some of the girl’s Lego, which she recently got for a birthday, and that put a smile on her face.

The family’s first priority is housing.

Hillyard would like to stay in Maple Ridge, after renting the same house here for 14 years, but is not sure she will be able to find another place on her budget.

Her husband works at a local department store.

Community services will pay for their hotel accommodations only until Wednesday. They have no family in the community to help.

“We going to be homeless if we don’t find a place quickly,” she said.

The week before the fire, she had been involved in a four-car accident on the Lougheed Highway in Mission, and spend two days in hospital with a concussion.

“We’ve had a tough time lately,” she said.

She would like to contact anybody who can offer the family help securing housing.

Fire investigators were still examining the burned house on Tuesday morning.

Deputy fire chief Michael Van Dop said the cause of the fire is not suspicious in nature. The tenants reported occasional blown breakers, consistent with an electrical fault, but said that is not the only possible cause, he said.

He confirmed that with the relatively small size of the house, and the fact the fire spread through the attic, almost all furnishings and possessions will be heat or smoke damaged, if not burned.

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