Community efforts are underway to help victims of the Delair Court Apartments fire that occurred early Sunday morning (Feb. 14).
“With all the COVID procedures, they’ve gotten a bit overwhelmed and need some time before having the ability to facilitate more physical donations,” the Facebook page states.
The page indicates the current need is for monetary donations. The Salvation Army is working with Emergency Social Services (ESS) on behalf of those impacted. Cash, debit, Visa and Mastercard are being accepted.
Donations can be made by calling the Centre of Hope at 604-852-9305 and specifying that the donation is for the Delair apartment fires.
Donations of items can be mentioned on the Facebook page, and victims of the fire are also encouraged to post any requests for support.
Residents who are missing pets are being assisted by the Canadian Disaster Animal Response Team of Southwest BC.
As well, GoFundMe has created a centralized location for the more than 20 online fundraisers that have so far been created to help those who lost everything in the fire, including clothes, computers, furniture, baby supplies, and vehicles.
Among those whose loved ones or co-workers have started campaigns are families with young children, seniors, an Abbotsford Police officer and a couple who lost medical equipment.
The page is being updated as new campaigns are verified. It can be found at gofundme.com/c/act/abbotsford-apartment-fire
The blaze broke out at about 1:30 a.m. Sunday in the apartment building at 35180 DeLair Rd. When crews arrived, they could see flames extending from the ground floor through the roof of the building.
The residents of all 57 units were evacuated and are now without homes.
A second building in the complex, which has 45 units, was also evacuated and has smoke damage.
Kelson Group, which owns Delair Court, posted on its website that it is working with ESS on “solutions and housing options” for displaced residents.
“We are also working with the authorities on the cause of the fire,” said Jason Fawcett, president of Kelson Group, on the website.
The website states that it is not known when residents will be able to return to their units. They are waiting for word from Abbotsford Fire Rescue Service on the structural integrity of the damaged building, and are waiting for utilities to be restored in the adjacent building.
Meanwhile, ESS has set up a reception centre for impacted residents at Cascade Community Church at 35190 DeLair Rd. The centre is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m Tuesday and Wednesday (Feb. 16 and 17).