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

Road closures in Cloverdale as Surrey crews battle house fire

Drivers urged to avoid area after fire in 17200-block of 58th Avenue

Third site of homeless housing project may be across from Surrey rec centre

This would be the third and final location for 160-unit modular housing project in Whalley

LETTER: Without a doubt, LRT is the best system for Surrey

Surrey Board of Trade CEO makes case for light rail in a letter to Mayors’ Council chair Derek Corrigan

UPDATE: Police probe fuel truck and train collision in Port Coquitlam

CP Rail reporting no injuries, driver of truck is safe.

EXCLUSIVE: A first look inside Surrey’s new Civic Hotel, with video

B.C.-themed floors in the 144-room, Marriott-branded hotel, due open in March

North Delta science students say so long poster board, hello arcade machines

Delview Secondary students to showcase their interactive science projects at Delview Exhibition 2018

Andrew Scheer on trade, Trump and Trudeau

Canada’s Conservative leader begins three-day visit to B.C.

Victims restrained, sex toys and cash stolen from B.C. adult store

Armed suspects sought in adult store robbery

UPDATED: 10 Safeways in Lower Mainland to close

Locations in Vancouver, Burnaby, Surrey, Coquitlam, Richmond and Mission slated to shut

Vancouver Islanders ponder need for tsunami siren song

Alarm sounds in Port Alberni but not at the DND base in Esquimalt

Five charged in bid to shut pop-up pot market in Vancouver’s Robson Square

Marijuana flower, edibles, money and some weapons were seized as part of weekend raid

Babcock, Goyette and Smyth honoured at Order of Hockey in Canada

Mike Babcock, from Saskatoon, guided the Detroit Red Wings to a Stanley Cup in 2008

Bell Canada alerts customers who may be affected by latest data breach

Federal Office of the Privacy Commissioner said it had been notified

‘The tsunami alarm failed my household’: North Coast residents concerned over sirens, alerts

People living in northern communities share how they learned about Tuesday’s tsunami warning

Most Read