News, Updates & Events
On July 28, fire broke out at an apartment complex at 550 Cottonwood Ave in Coquitlam BC. For more information on the fire that occurred that day, read this Vancouver Sun article. Typically, after the fire is out, the firefighter's duty to help is done. However, the Firefighter's of Coquitlam went above and beyond.
The Coquitlam Firefighter's Charity continued the response to help all the families that were affected by that devastating fire. They distributed funds that had been raised by the Coquitlam Foundation including a most notable donation of $20,000 by Concert Properties, the company that owns the complex. All of the families that were displaced permanently were Syrian refugees, and there were many other families that suffered hardships as a result of the fire.
$38,000 given to families affected by the fire
"It is hard to fathom what they have been through, having to flee your war torn country, to trying to adapted to a new culture.. and now this fire."
Initially,a large portion of donations were used to provide Gift Cards to the President's Choice chain of grocery stores. The first phase was to try and meet the immediate needs such as food, medication, clothing and toiletries for all families affected. The second phase consisted of money being distributed to the families who still had unmet needs as a result of the fire.
The President of the Coquitlam Firefighter's Charitable Society delivered these cheques and Gift Cards to the families displaced to the Welcome House.
"Meeting the families that were displaced, I could see in their eyes the pain and suffering they have endure. It is hard to fathom what they have been through, having to flee your country from war, to trying to adapted to a new country and culture, one individual was also a victim of the pepper spray attack in Janurary, and now this fire. It is heartbreaking. They were very thankful for the help we were able to provide." James Martins
Thus far over $38,000 has been distributed to all the families affected and more support continues to arrive. The Coquitlam Firefighter's Charitable Society does not typically provide post fire support such as this. However, in such cases as this and as in the 2015 Glen Drive Apartment fire they feel a tremendous sense of pride to help their community.
"It has been a humbling experience to be able to help those after a devastating incident such as this." Martins said.
Be a mentor
The Coquitlam Firefighter's Charitable Society wants to thank all those who have donated and been involved with helping provide support to those affected by the 550 Cottonwood Fire. More help is needed, not just in donations, go to the ISS of BC website for more information on how you can be a Settlement Mentor for families coming to Canada.
We are a group of volunteers and Firefighters in the Coquitlam City doing what we can to give back "Into Our Community!"