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Updated: Glen Valley house fire claims toddler’s life

Smoke could be seen for miles from a Glen Valley farm house where a two-year-old boy died on Friday, Jan. 24. - courtesy of CTV
Smoke could be seen for miles from a Glen Valley farm house where a two-year-old boy died on Friday, Jan. 24.
— image credit: courtesy of CTV

A two-year-old boy pulled from a burning farm house located in one of the most remote parts of Langley died on Friday morning.

Township assistant fire chief Pat Walker couldn’t contain his grief when confirming that the toddler didn’t make it.

“Our firefighters who went in to get the boy are true heroes. The heat of the flames and the black smoke they endured ... it’s amazing what these guys did,” said Walker.

The firefighters pulled the boy out of the burning structure and immediately started performing CPR on him, but he was unresponsive.

He was rushed to Abbotsford Hospital, along with his mother and siblings. But he didn’t make it, said Walker. The condition of the mother and other two children was not severe.

It appears the fire broke out around 8:30 a.m. in the rural rancher located on 272 Street near 84 Avenue.

The mother apparently got her kids and was heading out of the house but her toddler lost his way, said Walker. The father was out farming when the fire broke out. He rushed home and tried to enter the building to rescue the boy, but the flames were too strong.

The location of the older home is in a remote spot in Langley, and the working farm has two outbuildings and a mobile home on it as well.

When fire crews from the Aldergrove and Walnut Grove halls arrived they did a “rapid attack” of the fire, knowing the boy was inside. The scene was tragic, with others trying in vain to enter to rescue the boy.

Firefighters had to bring in water tankers because there are no hydrants in that remote area.

A sprinkler contractor was first on scene and tried the front door.

“He told me the door handle was already red hot,” said Walker.

Flames quickly spread and a plume of smoke could be seen from a distance.

“The fire took off fast. It’s a older home, cedar siding and there was unbelievable black smoke. It was such a hot fire,” he said.

The fire started in one of the bedrooms but to find the cause is going to be difficult, said Walker.

“The cause will be tough to define because the house is so badly damaged by fire,” he said. The home is heated by propane, so that is something they will look at.

Walker is calling the paid on call and career firefighters who battled this blaze heroes who did an outstanding job in such difficult circumstances.

This is the third deadly fire in Langley in as many months.

In late November, an elderly woman died in a duplex fire in the 23800 block of Old Yale Road that left five people homeless.

Then a 64-year-old woman was killed in a house fire in Langley City in early December. Several family pets also died. That fire was due to faulty wiring.

Fort Langley Evangelical Free Church is helping the family, and is accepting donations of clothing and household goods at the church, Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

A trust fund, the “Langley Home Fire Fund,” has been been set up to help the family.

Members of the public can make donations at Westminster Savings, or at any of the Coast Capital Savings Credit Union branches located across the Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island.

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