Homes, Christmas presents burn in Surrey apartment fire
A massive fire at a Surrey, B.C., apartment building has displaced dozens of residents just two weeks before Christmas.
The blaze broke out at around 8 a.m. at the Bon Terra building on 150th Street and 107th Avenue, quickly spreading through the three-storey complex. No one was seriously hurt, but five of the building's 66 suites were destroyed.
"BC Ambulance did transfer one patient for very minor smoke inhalation," Deputy Fire Chief Dan Barnscher said. "That's all we've heard."
Newlyweds Rosemarie and Herlan Salvador were getting ready for church when they first saw smoke in their second-floor suite. Within minutes, their home was destroyed – along with their wedding and Christmas presents.
"We just got married and we lost everything," Rosemarie said. "[Herlan] just gave me my jacket and we ran out."
Young mom Aileen Tulio lives above the newlyweds. When she saw fire on her balcony and smoke coming from her walls, she froze. Tulio says it was her son who forced her to abandon her belongings.
"I didn't want to leave my things. I work hard for everything. My presents are there, I spent so much and worked so hard for it and now it's all gone," she said, crying.
"It's funny because the only thing I saved was coffee filters. I grabbed my coffee filters, it's in my purse," she said. "I don't know why I took it."
Tulio believes the fire was intentionally set during a domestic disturbance in a first floor suite.
"I heard a woman got hurt in here by two other men and they set fire in her place," Tulio said. "It was deliberately set."
Barnscher says it could be a few days before investigators determine the cause. In the mean time, Tulio and the Salvadors say they're just happy to be safe.
With a report from CTV British Columbia's Nafeesa Karim