On Tuesday afternoon, while visiting my mom at her place on 204th, I heard a loud blast. It didn’t sound normal. I walked to her patio, and saw a woman on the sidewalk below receiving CPR from two bystanders. Black smoke began billowing from the building beside us.
I heard three more explosions, and I rushed downstairs to see what was happening, only to find other building residents in distress, being carried out by neighbours from the building on fire.
A minute later, the sirens came on. Langley first responders were there in no time. But what stands out to me, is that it wasn’t just our first responders who were so prudent, but all of the bystanders — residents of other buildings, many of whom are seniors, disabled — wanting to help the residents of the burning building get to safety and stand by them.
I am writing to express my heartfelt gratitude towards the community residents at 204th and 54th Avenue in Langley on Tuesday afternoon. As many of us shared assumptions and rumours of what might have been the cause of the explosions, one thing that resonated with me, is that many bystanders themselves, had their own stories of being evacuated due to a fire.
It occurred to me that some communities are vulnerable to such occurrences, yet those who overcame are still responding with support and love. I remember seeing many people who did not speak the same language, all working together to support those in need until ambulances arrived. Everyone tried to do their part the best they could, despite physical disabilities or language barriers.
It was amazing to see this support and collaboration in my Mom’s community. I am so proud to see these efforts among all residents and first responders.
I hope everyone at 204 and 54th will be okay and life will go on, knowing that they are cared for and being watched out for.
Melody Soderquist, Langley City
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