Fire destroys B.C. musician's home, studio and instruments
BURNABY, B.C. -- A local musician’s life’s work has been lost, after a fire ripped through his home earlier this month.
On the morning of March 1st, Michael Ertzinger was standing in his kitchen when he heard a loud bang in the next room. Then, smoke and flames quickly filled his North Burnaby home.
Ertzinger contained the blaze with a fire extinguisher, as his mom and brother evacuated the split-level home. But, the relief was short-lived.
“The fire re-ignited. It was at that point that I knew the house was going to go,” says Ertzinger.
Sadly, his two pet lovebirds did not make it out of the fire. The musician’s home studio was also destroyed. It included multiple instruments, including a grand piano, and computers that held the only copies of his original music compositions.
Ertzinger estimates it would cost a quarter of a million dollars to replace the music studio.
“It took a lot of work to assemble all of that within the means of a musician. So, the loss is considerable to me,” he tells CTV News.
Ertzinger, who plays numerous instruments, makes a living by teaching, performing, and composing music. He says financial fallout from COVID-19 restrictions means he cannot afford house insurance. None of his losses are covered.
Now, Metro Vancouver’s music community is rallying around Ertzinger. David Brown, president of the Vancouver Musician’s Association, has launched a GoFundMe campaign, to get Ertzinger back on his feet.
“He (Ertzinger) has tremendous potential as a musician. He has something to say. And, I think society needs that. In this time, we know art and culture is really important to inspire us to move forward,” Brown tells CTV News.
Ertzinger is currently staying with his girlfriend, and focused on replacing the essentials, like clothes and identification.
He says music will eventually help him heal from the trauma of losing his home and livelihood, but it’s still too soon for him to even consider replacing the cherished instruments he lost.
“It hurts. It’s like having a part of you cut off or ripped away to lose them like this,” he says.
Burnaby fire investigators have not yet determined a cause of the fire.