Chilliwack firefighters discuss operations as they help battle a fire at fourplex in Garrison Crossing on Wednesday. The fire gutted one unit and severely damaged two others.

Residents rally to help Chilliwack fire victims

Within hours of a devastating fire last week at a Garrison fourplex, efforts were under way to help the people affected.

Within hours of a devastating fire last week at a Garrison fourplex, efforts were under way to help the people affected.

No one was home at the time of the fire, which broke out at around 5 p.m. in the 45000 block of Tamihi Way. But the damage was extensive. Smoke could be seen spiraling skyward as firefighters rushed to the scene. When they arrived they found flames shooting from the roof of the two-storey townhome and beginning to spread to adjacent units.

Crews from Firehalls 1, 4 and 6 responded – including the large aerial unit that poured water from above. They managed to slow the fire’s progress, but not before considerable fire, smoke and water damage was done to three of the four units.

A central unit – home to a family of five – was almost completely destroyed. The fire left the residents, a mom and four children, with little more than the clothes they were wearing.

They had recently moved into the home and had yet to set up insurance. When word of the family’s loss spread, Chilliwack residents were quick to respond.

Fund raisers have been planned, and trust fund is in place, a Facebook page has been created, and efforts are underway to co-ordinate donations.

Two local thrift stores, Back At You Thrift Store and Streethope New and Used, have stepped forward to help the family with some of the basics.

Back At You has two fundraisers planned. It will hold a “Good Ol’ Fashioned Garage Sale and Hot Dog Fundraiser for Fire Victims” this Saturday, Aug. 31 from 9:30 – 5 p.m. (45676 Yale Rd). Door prizes and a donation jar are planned. Seventy-five per cent of the of the net proceeds will go towards the family.

A second fundraising event called “Ladies Night Out” will be held at the thrift store Thursday, Sept. 5 from 6-9 p.m.  Tickets are $5 and available at the store, with 50 per cent going directly towards the family and 50 per cent towards a grand door prize for a customer.  There will be coffee, tea and other treats, as well as evening shopping and many door prizes, including gift certificates from local businesses including Dickens Sweets Shop, Mary Clark Flowers, The Treasure Box, Rendezvous Restaurant, Scentsy, Allouette and more.

A fund raiser is also planned at the Jolly Miller Pub. The event, set for Sept. 6 at 5865 Vedder Rd., will include a chicken dinner, and a silent auction with items from many local Chilliwack businesses.

Trust funds have also been set up at local credit unions. Contact Envision Financial Branch, account No. 6797351, transit No. 37930 809.  Those wanting to donate via the Prospera Credit Union can call either the Sardis Branch 604.858.7080 or the Chilliwack Branch 604.792.3301 and request to donate to the Garrison Crossing Fire Victims.

Much more information about how Chilliwack residents can help can be found at the Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/groups/193550414150327/?fref=ts