Tuesday, April 22, 2014


Adding Insult to Injury

ESS not called in to assist burned-out family, home looted several times since

Submitted by BB, Chilliwack/Voice photo


The door of an Ashwell Rd. home sits open while Chilliwack firefighters deal with a fire that broke out on the bottom floor, displacing two families.


am writing to you with regards to a story you published about a fire in a four plex in your paper April 18th. First I am saddened that the family living above the suite where the fire started was left that night in the pouring rainÖa family of four, mother, father and two young children and 3 dogs. 


Why was a relief agency not called to attend the scene and assist this family?

The fire department took the keys to their suite, and left them there with nothing. This is a low income family and one of the children is a special needs (autistic) child. One of the boys didnít even have on a pair of shoes. Itís shocking. 

I know of this family, they have had nothing but hardship, as well as last year the father was stabbed in an altercation at their previous rental home in Surrey. That case has just gone to court and he is disabled and unable to work. 

They have had nothing but a run around from social services and the mother is employed at Tim Hortons in Chilliwack. That is their entire income. To top it all off, they went back to their burned out home on the weekend, only to find that it had been broken into. 

Then today they went back again to try and retrieve anything salvageable and the home had been broken into AGAIN!!!!

 Everything they have was smoke/water/fire damaged and they are only hoping that they will be able to retrieve some clothes and kitchen dishes. They have nothing left. 

To add insult to injury you ask why they didnít have insurance? 

Donít even askÖthey are unable to pay for extras like that. Medication for their child is upwards of $100.00 per month. They just had to pay a $70.00 vet bill for their dogs, though the vet didnít charge them the fee for looking at the dogs. 

I wonder how much one family has to endure? They are fragile, and lost. Is there anything the community could do to help this family. They are in Chilliwack today trying to find somewhere else to live. This comes with huge financial struggles for them as it requires new damage deposit, pet deposit and they donít even have enough money to make next months rent, never mind feed their family and then add those costs.  

I see all the time news media appealing to the public for assistance to help these unfortunate people in, really, dire straights. Is there anything that your paper could do to help get the word out for this family? The family is emotionally and physically and financially at its limit.

They did go to the Red Cross and Salvation Army but as it is the Easter long weekend, nothing was able to be done for them. 

Just so you know when they went on the weekend back to the house it had been broken into...police were called...then today, they went back to the house to salvage some important paperwork and low and behold...it had been broken into AGAIN!!!

Everything had been gone through...and thrown around the place...absolutely so disheartening that someone could be so cold hearted.

Then, the landlord for the complex isn't forthcoming with their damage deposit and the days rent from April 17-30 that they have paid. So how are they to move forward finding somewhere else to live, and pay new damage deposits and rent for the month of may, all on a Tim Horton's salary...I just don't know...it's just such a sad, sad story and they just need help. The poor little boys cant even go to school...they have only lived there since April 1st...and it took until last Monday for the school the oldest boy was going to to get a special needs assistant in the classroom for him. He went for a couple of days.

Just so you know, I know for a fact that no one was called to come to their assistance at the time of the fire, and Nickie was at work, but the boys father was with them. So, even though there were children involved...no one was called. I know the family below them has at least one child and to my knowledge no one was called for them either.

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