Community

UPDATED: Maple Ridge boys host drink stand for family affected by house fire

Friends Matthew Garnett, 13, and Noah Dobie, 14, are raising funds for their friends affected by a recent fire in Pitt Meadows.  - Tracey Garnett/Special to The TIMES
Friends Matthew Garnett, 13, and Noah Dobie, 14, are raising funds for their friends affected by a recent fire in Pitt Meadows.
— image credit: Tracey Garnett/Special to The TIMES

Two Maple Ridge boys are hosting a drink stand this week, for friends of theirs recently affected by a house fire.

On Aug. 9, Pitt Meadows fire crews responded to a house fire in the 19100 block of Mitchell Road just before 5 p.m.

Two children escaped unharmed while their grandparents suffered from smoke inhalation.

The children’s mother was away from the home at the time of the fire but has since returned.

Christian Johan Serdar, aged 37, of Pitt Meadows, was found dead by firefighters extinguishing the blaze, in a ground-floor bedroom.

Now, a week later the family is still picking up the pieces.

And a pair of Thomas Haney students are doing what they can to help their friends.

Matthew Garnett, 13, and Noah Dobie, 14, are hosting a drink stand at 12617 203rd St., on the south-west corner of 203rd Street and Golden Ears Way.

Drinks and freezies are for sale, with proceeds going to the Xiao family.

Today (Thursday, Aug. 18), the stand will be running from 2:30 to 5:30 p.m.

The fire impacted Garnett and his family on a personal level. On Aug. 9, he received a jarring text from a friend’s sister.

“It said something on the lines of, ‘Our house is on fire’ which kind of scared me and my mom,” he recalled.

Garnett’s mom Tracey drove him to the house.

“We went there and we picked them [the family] up and kept them in our house for a couple of days,” Garnett said.

He shared that the family isn’t sure when they’ll be able to move back into their home.

More bad news followed.

“My mom woke me up early in the morning… and she gave me the news that one of their grandparents, they were both were in the hospital for smoke inhalation, and one of them had to spend the night which cost them $6,000,” he said.

Tracey came up with the idea to buy cans of pop and other refreshments and sell them to the public to help absorb some of the cost of the grandparents’ hospital bills.

“They aren’t Canadians. They didn’t have any insurance,” Garnett said.

His goal is to raise $1,000 for the family.

“We’ve made quite a bit so far,” Garnett told the TIMES Tuesday afternoon. “We’ve had a couple of people stop by and give pretty generous donations.”

The first two hours of the sale on Tuesday were a bit disheartening, Garnett admitted. “Not a single person pulled by, and then one person stopped by and bought two bottles of iced tea, and gave us a sign recommendation. We changed our signs around and the same people who gave us the sign recommendation came back and gave a really large donation.”

He hopes to spend roughly a week, maybe longer, at the stand.

“It’s right outside my house so it’s very accessible,” he said.

Garnett said the stand will be up and running from roughly noon to 5 p.m. or sometime after that, over the next few days, depending on the response.

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