The Maple Ridge family that was burned out of its home on 227th Street early last Friday have started rebuilding, thanks to generosity from the community.
The first obstacle was finding an affordable home as soon as possible, and Angela Hillyard said a landlord came forward with a townhouse in Maple Ridge.
“It makes me feel so much better that we now have a place to call home on Aug. 1,” she said.
She went to see the unit with her 15-month-old grandson, whom she is raising.
He and the landlord hit it off.
“Landon stole his heart.”
She and husband Brian had lived in the same home on 227th St. for 14 years, but were left homeless by a fire that destroyed a carport and two bedrooms, and caused smoke and heat damage throughout.
With no insurance, the family of four, including a seven-year-old granddaughter, were left starting over.
People have got in touch with Angela with all kinds of donations, from cribs to new mattresses, and the Red Cross stepped up to provide housing at a local hotel until Aug. 1.
They have been contacted by a man who was taking donations for families in the Interior who have been displaced by forest fires, but his load was considered surplus and turned away.
They will be looking at a truck loaded with furniture, clothing and even children’s toys.
Then the two family cats, which fled from the fire and were found back at the house covered in soot, were taken to Katie’s Place animal shelter and have been reunited with their family.
Days earlier, Hillyard was worried that her family would literally be left homeless.
Now she can focus on setting up house in a new home.
“It’s really amazing how people have come forward.”
For the record
An earlier version of the story said that her husband Brian was home when the fire started, but he was at work.