The community is coming to the aid of a Langley family of eight who were displaced from their home by fire just before Christmas.
On Dec. 20, the family dishwasher at Zane and Julia Green’s Aldergrove townhouse overheated and started a fire.
“Luckily, all the kids were at school,” Zane said.
Julia had just headed across the street to see the school Christmas pageant, and a neighbour called to let Julia know the building was on fire.
Although the fire wasn’t large, the fact that it burned up a lot of plastic meant toxic smoke went throughout the townhouse, said Zane.
Between smoke damage, water damage, and old asbestos tiling inside the 1980s-era building, it will be a while before the building can be repaired.
“We are out of the house for at least a year,” said Zane.
The tree and Christmas presents are still inside the house, but everything will have to be thrown out, Zane said, because of smoke contamination.
Fortunately, the family does have contents insurance, and the structure was insured through the complex’s strata corporation.
But the family was looking at a rocky time. Zane, a funeral director, is just a year into starting up a new business in Maple Ridge, Ancient Burials.
“We really hemmed and hawed,” Zane said. Although they were somewhat underinsured, they knew they could make it through, despite the additional costs and difficulties.
But when the campaign went up six days ago, the response was immediate.
The campaign has already raised more than $8,000 of the $10,000 goal, towards getting the family through the transition.
Zane was surprised. A lot of people he’s met through his work as a funeral director seemed to have reached out to help, he said.
Now the family is looking for a rental home that can accommodate two adults and six children, until the repairs are done on their townhouse.
The kids are doing fairly well, though they miss certain things lost in the fire, Zane said.
“It is tough, but when it’s all said and done, we have our lives,” he said.