The family home was boarded up, and some damage can be seen along the roof line. Damage inside is extensive. (Neil Corbett/THE NEWS)

The family home was boarded up, and some damage can be seen along the roof line. Damage inside is extensive. (Neil Corbett/THE NEWS)

Son, 8, got Maple Ridge family ready for fire emergency

Family of five got out alive, and dad credits his youngest

A family lost everything in their Maple Ridge home to a fire on Valentine’s Day, but the father of the house says it might have been worse if not for his young son.

“I credit my son for making me realize fire protection is a serious thing,” said Steven, who is now residing in a local hotel with his family, and living out of bags of new clothes.

He and his wife, their two boys and a guest, were all sleeping at the house when a smoke alarm went off at about 4:30 a.m. on Feb. 14.

Finding the blaze, Steven had thoughts of fighting the fire himself, but the situation soon became dangerous. He had to get everyone out quickly.

His wife grabbed jackets for the family, but they didn’t have time to put shoes on. Steven had no pants.

“Within 10 seconds of us being up, we had to get out of the house,” he said.

Soon there were 41 firefighters battling a blaze at their house at 117th Avenue and Morris Street.

Thinking about it afterward, it was a fire preparedness presentation by Maple Ridge Fire and Rescue at school that got his his eight-year-old son Aaron talking about the topic.

“He was energized by it,” Steven said.

Soon they were going through Aaron’s fire preparedness checklist, and replacing smoke alarm batteries. It was a smoke alarm that woke the household.

The fire could have been tragic, said Steven, if Aaron hadn’t been so inspired by a firefighter’s school visit.

“He’s a fantastic kid. We’re very lucky. We all got out alive.”

READ ALSO: Maple Ridge firefighters teaching safety in the kitchen for Fire Prevention Week

Steven was also thankful for the neighbours who appeared on the scene that night.

“They took my family in, and got us coffee,” he said.

The neighbours also found them some shoes, and Steve a pair of track pants.

The family went shopping for something to wear the next day, and he was again humbled when the manager gave them shoes and clothes.

“There are solid people in this community. I’m blown away by the giving,” he said.

The family is not yet sure the extent of the damage, but they will be out of their house for a long time. Deputy Fire Chief Michael Van Dop said the room of origin was completely burned out, and there is smoke and water damage throughout the building.

READ ALSO: More than 150 could be affected by early morning apartment fire in Abbotsford

Van Dop said the cause of the fire is not yet confirmed, but it appears to be accidental.

“We’ve lost pretty much everything,” said Steve. “It’s about putting things back together now.”

And, it’s about being thankful for what they have, he said, and for his youngest son getting them ready for just such an emergency.

“He should be proud. He’s an awesome kid.”

Have a story tip? Email:

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

firemaple ridgePitt Meadows

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Members of Katzie First Nation got into the spirit of Pink Shirt Day with honking, car decoration, and drumming. (Ronan O’Doherty/ The News)
Katzie First Nation recognizes Pink Shirt Day with ‘honking’ parade

Community rallies together to promote anti-bullying message

COVID-19 (Pixabay)
COVID-19 exposures at schools in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows

Alexander Robinson and Edit McDermott are latest elementary schools exposed

City council reviewed the Growing Together report, and its vision for downtown Maple Ridge.
Pocket parks, walkability, safety are highlights of Maple Ridge downtown vision

Homelessness and crime could undermine vision for city says Robson

Discover Camping reservation service opens March 8 for the 2021 camping season. (The News files)
Camping reservations for B.C. parks opens March 8

Busy season expected again this year for Golden Ears Provincial Park in Maple Ridge

FILE – A COVID-19 vaccine being prepared. (Olivia Sullivan/Sound Publishing)
B.C. seniors 80 years and older to get COVID vaccine details over next 2 weeks: Henry

Province is expanding vaccine workforce as officials ramp up age-based rollout

Dr. Bonnie Henry talk about the next steps in B.C.'s COVID-19 Immunization Plan during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, January 22, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
456 new COVID-19 cases in B.C., 2 deaths

Since January 2020, 78,278 have tested positive for the novel coronavirus in B.C.

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette)
Vaccinating essential workers before seniors in B.C. could save lives: experts

A new study says the switch could also save up to $230 million in provincial health-care costs

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

The late Michael Gregory, 57, is accused of sexually exploiting six junior high students between 1999 and 2005. (Pixabay)
Former Alberta teacher accused of sexually assaulting students found dead in B.C.

Mounties say Michael Gregory’s death has been deemed ‘non-suspicious’

A woman boards a transit bus through rear doors, in Vancouver, on Friday, March 20, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
TransLink slow to reveal crucial details about ransomware attack, says union

Union says company took months to admit what info was stolen, including SIN and bank account details

According to a new poll, a majority of Canadians want to see illicit drugs decriminalized. (THE ASSOCIATED PRESS)
Majority of Canadians think it’s high time to decriminalize illicit drugs: poll

More than two-times the B.C. residents know someone who died from an overdose compared to rest of Canada

VIDEO: Lynx grabs lunch in Kamloops

A lynx surprises a group of ducks and picks one off for lunch

(Black Press Media file photo)
B.C. residents can reserve provincial camp sites starting March 8

B.C. residents get priority access to camping reservations in province

Most Read