Geoffrey Holland and his dog Cinnamon at the Douglas Park rec centre on the day of the fire.

A ‘thank you very much’ to helpful strangers from Langley fire victim

One of more than 100 displaced by the Paddington Station condominium complex blaze on 201A Avenue

On Monday, Geoffrey Holland returned to the burnt-out shell of his former home in the Paddington Station condominium complex on 201A Avenue.

At a noon-hour meeting, the Langley City fire department had offered to help residents of the fourth floor, where the damage from the Sunday fire was the worst, to retrieve any valuables that survived the blaze.

Holland wasn’t allowed to go into his suite because the roof had collapsed into his living room.

But the firefighters who did, managed to find the electronic items he was asking for, and his hard-to-replace shoes and boots as well.

“They brought down everything (I asked for),” he said.

The 6’7″ Holland takes a size 16, so he was especially pleased to find his footwear had survived the flames because he had left the building wearing sandals.

His car is another story, however.

It was in the underground parking lot, and he has been told it is under four feet of water.

On the Sunday of the fire, Holland was at the Douglas Rec centre with the other evacuees, getting ready to rent a car to take himself and his dog to stay with his mother on the North Shore.

That was when a couple he’d never met before offered to give him a ride anywhere he needed.

So it was off to Wal-Mart in Langley, where he picked up dog food, dry socks and some other items of clothing.

Another person ended up driving him to the North Shore.

When he mentioned that he was looking for a CPAP machine, because the one he uses for his sleep apnea had been left behind in the fire, the woman who was driving offered a solution.

“My husband has one he doesn’t use,” the woman told him.

The machine was missing a mask, but that proved to be no problem, either, because Holland’s sister had gone on social media to mention her brother was in need of a machine.

A friend of the sister saw the message and drove to a parent’s place to pick up some spare masks, one of which fit perfectly.

On Monday, Holland was driving a rented SUV, after patiently explaining to the rental company that anything smaller simply wouldn’t fit.

Holland said the strata agent who manages Paddington Station has informed the residents that the building has enough insurance to completely rebuild, if necessary.

He said there was no estimate of how long that might take.

As for the many strangers who have helped Holland and the dozens of other residents displaced by the fire, he has just one thing to say.

“Thank you very much.”

Just Posted

Langley grad in sudden death investigation mom of three

Woman who died under suspicious circumstances in Vernon grew up in Fraser Valley

Township-wide tree bylaw to be determined by future council

Council votes 5-4 in favour of motion by Charlie Fox

Florida school shooting creates emotional response locally

Both Langley RCMP and the school district have seen a heightened concern since tragedy

Two injured in ‘97 shooting at LSS

Risk of school shootings low in Canada, but it has happened here

Lower Mainland could see spring flurries

Snow expected at higher elevations

Vancouver Aquarium’s resident octopus released into ocean

Staff let the Giant Pacific octopus go into the waters near Bowen Island so she can reproduce

Former NHL player Theo Fleury visits B.C. First Nations community

Abuse survivor Theo Fleury has been working with communities focusing on healing since 2009 and visited Esketemc First Nation in the Cariboo this week.

A B.C. council takes action in wake of former municipal politician’s sentencing

Dave Murray was sentenced to nine months for a sexual assault that occurred 26 years ago.

Harsher fines, new off-road vehicle rules in effect to combat B.C. wildfires

Anyone who starts a wildfire could be ordered to pay up to $1,000,000

Muddy water found in taps at B.C. hospital prompts investigation

Northern Health to hire consultant to examine three facilities for potential contamination

RCMP officer charged after pedestrian struck at crosswalk

A man suffered a broken leg and head lacerations after being struck by the police vehicle in 2017

Stealth continue to struggle

Vancouver NLL team has just one win in 13 games this season

Shred confidential documents, donate to food bank at Cloverdale fraud prevention event

Cloverdale’s Envision Financial branch hosting ‘Shred it and Forget it’ event on Saturday

B.C. NDP offers tax breaks to jumpstart LNG Canada in Kitimat

‘We’re not giving away more money,’ Premier John Horgan says

Most Read