Couple loses belongings in fire at Surrey storage facility
Published Sunday, November 12, 2017 2:25PM PST
Last Updated Sunday, November 12, 2017 7:16PM PST
A Metro Vancouver couple say they’re desperate for “any kind of good news” after losing nearly all of their belongings in a fire at a U-Haul storage facility in Surrey.
Fire crews were dispatched to battle the large blaze at around 5 p.m. on Friday.
When they heard the news, Jessica Persinovic and her partner, James Jamieson, rushed to the facility at King George Boulevard and 84 Avenue only to find they’d lost everything they own.
“I’m watching my house burn to the ground, in a way, with all my storage stuff in it,” Persinovic told CTV News Sunday. “Just imagine your entire home gone.”
The pair recently moved to the area from Vancouver and put their clothing, shoes, sentimental items and important documents such as passports and birth certificates into the storage locker while they searched for a place to live.
“It was supposed to be a temporary thing,” Jamieson said. “Who thinks their storage container is going to catch on fire?”
They have not been allowed to look in their storage locker because of the of the ongoing investigation into the cause of the blaze.
The storage facility is made up of nine structures. The one that housed the couple’s belongings received the brunt of the damage in Friday’s fire.
“We pretty much just watched all our stuff burn away—everything we own, completely gone,” Jamieson said.
Persinovic said neither authorities nor U-Haul staff have been much help.
“I understand they’re doing their investigation, but for the people who were in that sections, maybe give us a little bit more,” she said.
Jamieson said U-Haul has told them might be allowed to enter the facility on Tuesday.
In an email statement, the company said it is “devastated” by the incident, but can provide little information until authorities have finished their work at the storage facility.
“Our primary focus right now is to support first responders on-site by giving them the space they need to naturalize any potential hazards and conduct their investigation,” said spokesperson Sebastien Reyes.
“U-Haul has contacted customers whose units are believed to be affected by the fire, and we will share more information when we can.”
Persinovic and Jamieson are now left with only a few pairs of clothes and some basic furnishings stored at a friend’s house.
Persinovic said they cannot afford to replace everything that was in the locker.
Other items, she said, simply cannot be replaced.
“I’m never going to get back my son’s newborn ultrasounds, his clothing and his pre-school, kindergarten, all those things,” she said. “I’m never going to get it back and it sucks.”
Investigators say the fire is being considered suspicious, but they have not determined a cause.
Crews are expected to remain at the scene for several days.
With a report from CTV Vancouver’s Breanna Karstens-Smith