A picture of Lela Bentley and her 12-year-old son Ryan from a GoFundMe Page.

Right before Christmas, Surrey woman with two kids loses everything in fire

Bentley, her husband, and her two boys who have health issues are now left homeless

A woman in Surrey just lost everything right before Christmas due to a house fire.

Lela Bentley and her family were displaced from their home on Monday night after an electrical fire gutted their rental house in Whalley.

Around one in the morning, Bentley woke up with a radiator blowing smoke in her face. When she got up she walked to the bathroom, the inside of the walls were on fire.

She woke up her two boys along with her husband, as they rushed to evacuate the house.

Her best friend Suzy Douglas, who spoke to the Now-Leader on Monday, said that the fire department told them that they could have been engulfed in flames if they stayed in the house five minutes longer.

She also says that this tragedy couldn’t have happened to a better person.

“She is so loved by everybody,” said Douglas. “She tells me that even when times are tough, she says ‘at least I have my boys and I have a roof over my head.’”

Now, it’s just her and her boys.

There aren’t many moms who have gone through hardships like Bentley.

Two years ago, her then 10-year-old son Ryan went into cardiac arrest, according to Douglas.

“He’s lucky to have survived that,” she said. “He was at a friends house at the time when it happened. The friend he was playing with at the time, his mom was a nurse.”

“Technically, he had died, but the nurse kept him alive for 20 minutes until the ambulances showed up.

Ryan suffers from a rare cardiac condition called ‘Wolff-Parkinson-White,’ which can cause symptoms like an abnormally fast heartbeat, palpitations and shortness of breath.

Bentley’s other son, Caleb, has low-functioning autism. His diagnosis forced her husband, Chris, to quit his job so that he could take care of Caleb full-time.

Douglas mentioned that they’ve had to pawn off some of their belongings to make ends meet.

“The things that they have are essential. Ryan has a pacemaker that is monitored by the internet, so Bentley got rid of her cell phone to make that happen.”

While Bentley and her family are happy to be alive, they are unsurprisingly distraught by the whole incident which had gutted their home while destroying all of their belongings.

Douglas and others have created a GoFundMe Page for Lela and her family to help them get back on their feet.

It means the world to Douglas to help out her best friend in a time of need.

“When we first met over ten years ago, we became instant friends,” said. “We’re able to figure out everything without judgement and we always have each others backs.”



trevor.beggs@surreynowleader.com

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