North Shore community joins together to help displaced victims of apartment fire

The aftermath of the fire in North Vancouver. Photo provided by North Vancouver RCMP.
The aftermath of the fire in North Vancouver. Photo provided by North Vancouver RCMP.

Residents displaced by Monday’s fatal apartment fire in North Vancouver are receiving help from the community to get back on their feet.

A recovery meeting was held Wednesday night at the Karen Magnussen Recreation Centre to coordinate plans and services for those affected.

“Seeing how we’re doing, which ways they can help us — and there’s lots of support for everybody,” said one victim.

“We’re okay, you know, we’re trying to get our lives back together and we have each other… that’s all that matters.”

Khatreah is with the group North Shore Multicultural Society and she said they’re supporting newcomer families who speak a variety of languages.

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“Providing them with summer activities for the kids, just get their mind off of whatever happened. Also my coworker is going to help them with… if they lost any documents in the fire and they have to apply for their cards, maybe passports, citizenship cards.”

Kevin Lee, with the charity Harvest Project, is one of several groups offering their services to displaced tenants.

“There’s a great number of resources that are coming together around the community, from the community, and it’s what we would expect of the North Shore,” he said.

“Our work will probably really get serious in the medium to long-term, as the families are trying and working to resettle and get back on their feet.”

“We offer coaching, counselling, and grocery and clothing support programs so we’re going to be there, again, in the longer term to however long be it months or a couple of years that the families might need.”

Joanne is another victim of the fire, and is now staying in a hotel with her kids.

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She said it’s wonderful to see the community come together for them.

“Can’t actually even believe what’s going on right now, it’s amazing and everywhere we go, everybody we see just is hugging us, offering help to us, I’m really blown away by this, yeah, it’s pretty amazing, speaks to our community.”

A GoFundMe page had raised almost $24,000 as of Wednesday night.

Donations can be made at Blueshore Financial Lynn Valley and if anyone would like to drop off donations, there is a Lynn Valley Apartment Fire Donations and Support Facebook page with locations and times.

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