Fatal fire in Maple Ridge leaves people, pets scrambling to find shelter
A former resident of the Maple Ridge home that burned down Saturday afternoon says the fire took almost everything from him.
Dan Hildebrant says there were nine people living on the Dewdney Trunk Road property where the blaze broke out Saturday afternoon. One of them, a woman named Terry who Hildebrant believes was in her 50s, died in the fire.
“She was wheelchair ridden. She was terminally ill with cancer and she had emphysema. She was hooked up to tanks, oxygen tanks,” said Hildebrandt.
Hildebrant said she lived in the house with her partner Laine, who survived.
“She’s a great lady, she had a big heart,” he told CTV News.
The couple also lot their dog in the fire, and Hildebrant said a kitten is missing.
A total of eight people and multiple pets have been displaced by the blaze.
The fire began in the early afternoon at the property near 267th Street, which Hildebrant said had both a home and a trailer on it.
Thick smoke could be seen billowing from the scene, and firefighters said flames could be seen in all of the home's windows when they arrived.
It took more than 50 firefighters from Maple Ridge and nearby Mission several hours to put out the fire, which was still burning in the old home's false ceilings and false roofs as late as 9 p.m. Firefighters worked to put out hotspots at the scene well into the night.
Hildebrant says he and his roommates have been struggling to get support.
“My one roommate had no shoes and when we left here after seeing victim services," he said. "We just lost everything man, we lost everything we own.”
He went to the Ridge Meadows RCMP detachment Sunday afternoon to meet with volunteers from Victim Services. He was given some essentials, including some gift cards for food and clothing, but still has nowhere to live.
“So much grief and loss and I don’t even have time to think of that, cause I have to try and survive out here right now,” said Hildebrant.
He’s started a GoFundMe page for him and his roommates so they can try and start over.
Fire investigators haven’t released the cause of the fire. They’re continuing their investigation with the help of the RCMP.
With files from CTV Vancouver's Regan Hasegawa