It was an electrical fire that burned Garry Cassidy’s multi-million dollar collection of rare cars last month.
Fire investigators spent nearly two days sifting through the charred remains of Cassidy’s collection of 37 vehicles, which included a one-of-a-kind 1961 Bel Air convertible.
“We are just finalizing our report, but it appears to be an electrical fire. A circuit can show signs of stress and overheat, causing a fire,” said Township assistant fire chief Pat Walker.
“It was a joint investigation with the RCMP. Unfortunately, the video surveillance equipment was destroyed in the fire and there was no backup of the video, so we don’t have that to accompany the investigation.”
Walker also noted that the building wasn’t equipped with sprinklers.
“It’s so unfortunate. He spent all this money on cars, and I just wish he would have sprinklered the building because if he did, I don’t think this fire would have been as devastating,” Walker said.
Walker said it was difficult to walk through the remains of what had been an impressive collection of vehicles.
“Langley is such a collector car community. I don’t know what’s in our blood. It’s like horse power runs through our blood,” said Walker.
Car collectors who know Cassidy and even those who don’t are still in a state of shock over the insurmountable loss of beautiful vehicles.
One Langley resident has even offered his collector car to Cassidy to start a new collection.
Cassidy tole the Times last week that he feels like he lost 37 loved ones in the fire that took place in the early morning hours of Oct. 25.
The Milner resident was in Palm Springs when he found out that his 10,000-square-foot shop had gone up in flames, and inside of it, the collection of rare cars he’d spent years accumulating.
It took Cassidy 17 years to collect the vehicles, which included a Ferrari so rare, only 10 were made.
The fire happened on Cassidy’s property along the 7200 block of 216 Avenue.
“We got a phone call at 3:39 on Wednesday morning,” Cassidy told the Times as he stood in front of the burned remains of his car collection last week.
On the other line was a representative from the security company, who told Cassidy that there was a break-in and a fire alarm and that RCMP and the fire department had been called.
Cassidy said his wife Darlene went on the couple’s iPad and “goes onto our security camera and there was nothing.”
“And we went, ‘Oh my God, this can’t be good,’” Cassidy shared.
Five minutes later, a friend of the couple went to the shop and then called them with the bad news.
The oldest car on the shop was a 1931 Ford two-door sedan.
“Most of my cars were General Motors products,” Cassidy said.