Staff at Opus Art Supplies in Langley City wanted to do something to help after the nearby July 17 fire that destroyed the top floor of the Madison Place apartment complex at 19730 56th Avenue.
“We were close by,” Opus store manager Ben Tammi recounted.
“We saw the fire trucks.”
Which is why, Tammi explained, they decided to start collecting donations in-store for the dozens of displaced families.
“I think in this time, people are looking for ways they can help,” Tammi said, before he presented a check for just over $600, the result of a few weeks of fundraising, to Downtown Langley Business Association executive director Teri James at the DLBA offices on Wednesday, Sept. 2.
Their contribution will be matched dollar-for-dollar by the DLBA, which will mean $1,200 in aid.
Tammi called that “fantastic.”
James said Opus had launched their fund-raising before the association put out a call for businesses to help the Madison fire victims.
“They [Opus] were already on board,” James commented.
She explained the DLBA decided to match the amount because “we are all one community and these people are some of the ones that support our small businesses, so it just feels like the right thing to do as a business community.”
Local property management company NAI Commercial is distributing the funds with direction from Langley Emergency Services.
An unrelated GoFundMe campaign, “Victims of Langley Condo Fire July 17, 2020” has been set up online, as well.
The fire broke out sometime between 5:30 and 6 p.m. on a Friday in the upper floor of Madison Place, a four-storey structure facing 56th Avenue.
From there, it appears to have spread across much of the top of the building.
It took eight vehicles and roughly 30 fire fighters to douse the blaze – working all throughout the night.
No injuries were reported.
Madison Place was built in 2007 before the BC Building Code was changed to require sprinklers on balconies and in attics for all low-rise condos.
The rules were changed in 2017 as a result of the Paddington Station Fire in Langley City.