Candace Nicholson has a message for Michel Lefebvre, who tried to save her mom from a devastating house fire Saturday in Maple Ridge.
“Thank you, thank you, thank you, for at least trying,” she said Tuesday. “I really want to say thank you for trying.”
Nicholson’s mom, Terri Brown, 54, died in the fire that started in an old house that afternoon on Dewdney Trunk Road and 266th Street.
Brown had bad hips and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and used a wheelchair, but could still get around, Nicholson said.
Her mom lived in the upstairs suite of the house and police told her that when flames broke out, her mom stomped on the floor, screaming fire, to awake those downstairs.
“I believe she may have saved everybody,” the police told her.
Lefebvre tried to get into the blazing house, but was driven back by the flames.
Nicholson said another resident tried to rescue her mom and used a fire extinguisher, but couldn’t get through the flames.
Nicholson said her mom had been living there for less than a year with her beloved Jasmine, a Yorkie-type dog.
It’s possible her mom perished trying to rescue her Jasmine.
“My guess is … she was probably trying to frantically look for her dog. Knowing her, she was a huge animal lover and that is my guess, she was probably trying to find her.”
Nicholson lives in Mission, but regularly spoke with her mom. The two were close growing up, with Nicholson describing her mom as her best friend.
“She was a really, awesome, fun mom when I was a kid. She gave the world to me when I was a child. She was a very good person.”
Maple Ridge Fire and Rescue chief Howard Exner said the investigation is a complex one and that the house is old and had been renovated many times.
“The fire was out, per se in the house, but where the fire kept burning was in the roof structure area. We had a hard time putting it out,” Exner said.
He didn’t know how many people were living there. Firefighters have completed their on-scene examination, but continue to investigate.
“There’s still lots of work to do,” Exner said.