Andy and Carole Johnston are thankful Yvonne Bernardy-Dearden (below) was persistent in her efforts to wake them this morning

Andy and Carole Johnston are thankful Yvonne Bernardy-Dearden (below) was persistent in her efforts to wake them this morning

Good Samaritan alerts South Surrey seniors to house fire

No injuries in early morning blaze that caused extensive damage to a 0 Avenue home.

Andy Johnston doesn’t know how the story of his house burning would have ended if a Good Samaritan hadn’t gone out of her way to wake him and his wife, Carole, Monday morning.

“She saw it and she kicked on the door, banged on the door till we were up and out of there,” Johnston said hours later, standing outside the couple’s badly burned 0 Avenue home.

“You never know, if she hadn’t banged on the door, what the results would’ve been.”

Yvonne Bernardy-DeardenYvonne Bernardy-Dearden told Peace Arch News she didn’t hesitate to act when she spotted flames coming from the side of the Johnstons’ house as she headed west in the 17000-block of 0 Avenue just before 6 a.m.

Dialing 911 and knocking on the door at the same time, the WestJet customer-service agent said she became more aggressive as she saw the fire “progressively just turning monstrous.”

“It was unreal how fast that fire moved,” she said. “Had I gone (to work) a minute later…”

Fire crews arrived to find the Johnstons’ home fully involved. By the time flames were out, the entire west side was in shambles – its exterior walls and interior ceilings damaged extensively; and parts of the roof collapsed. Inside, two to three inches of water covered the main floor, remnants of the effort to quell the blaze.

Exactly what sparked the fire is unclear, however, police say it is not considered suspicious.

Chad Johnston said his father called him shortly after his parents made it out of the house. He was “rattled,” he said.

Monday afternoon, Andy Johnston – a retired RCMP officer and former president of the White Rock/South Surrey Baseball Association – was in good spirits, appreciative of firefighters’ efforts to salvage items from the home, including a computer that contains precious family photos.

“We’re still together,” he said of his wife of 49 years. “That’s all that matters.”

He said Bernardy-Dearden “deserves a special recognition.”

However, she told PAN that she only did what anyone else would have.

“You don’t have to thank me, it’s nothing special,” she said, crediting her safety training through WestJet. “It’s just what you do.”

Fire

Just Posted

1,001 Steps – along with Christopherson Steps – was closed by the City of Surrey last spring in an attempt to halt the spread of COVID-19. They are set to reopen this week, as a note on a city sign attests (inset). (File photo/Contributed photo)
South Surrey’s beach-access stairs set to reopen

Christopherson Steps, 1,001 Steps have been closed since April 2020 due to COVID-19 pandemic

Surrey council chambers. (File photo)
Surrey council endorses ‘public engagement’ strategy

Council approves ‘Public Engagement Strategy and Toolkit,’ and a ‘Big Vision, Bold Moves’ transportation public engagement plan

A student arrives at school as teachers dressed in red participate in a solidarity march to raise awareness about cases of COVID-19 at Ecole Woodward Hill Elementary School, in Surrey, B.C., on Tuesday, February 23, 2021. A number of schools in the Fraser Health region, including Woodward Hill, have reported cases of the B.1.7.7 COVID-19 variant first detected in the U.K. (File photo: THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck)
COVID-19 cases at Surrey school district drop ‘dramatically’

There were 19 notifications sent out in the first 9 days of June, compared to in all of 245 in May

Surrey City Hall. (File photo)
Surrey council approves $7.3 million contract for street paving projects

City council awarded Lafarge Canada Inc. $7,326,667.95 for 15 road projects in North Surrey and one in South Surrey

Surrey city Councillor Brenda Locke. (File photo)
Locke seeks breakdown on what Surreyites get for taxes paid to Metro Vancouver

Surrey councillor presented motion to council Monday asking city staff to do a cost/benefit analysis

People watch a car burn during a riot following game 7 of the NHL Stanley Cup final in downtown Vancouver, B.C., in this June 15, 2011 photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Geoff Howe
10 years ago: Where were you during the 2011 Vancouver Stanley Cup Riots?

Smashed-in storefronts, looting, garbage can fires and overturned cars some of the damage remembered today

Two hundred and fifteen lights are placed on the lawn outside the Residential School in Kamloops, B.C., Saturday, June, 13, 2021. The remains of 215 children were discovered buried near the former Kamloops Indian Residential School earlier this month. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Days after Kamloops remains discovery, Tk’emlups families gather to unite, move ahead

‘We have to work together because this is going to be setting a precedent for the rest of the country’

In this Saturday, May 29, 2021, file photo, people crowd the Santa Monica Pier in Santa Monica, Calif. California, the first state in America to put in place a coronavirus lockdown, is now turning a page on the pandemic. Most of California’s coronavirus restrictions will disappear Tuesday, June 15, 2021. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes, File)
With COVID tamed, it’s a ‘grand reopening’ in California

No more state rules on social distancing, no more limits on capacity, no more mandatory masks

Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price (31) is scored on by Vegas Golden Knights defenseman Alec Martinez, not pictured, during the second period in Game 1 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup semifinal playoff series Monday, June 14, 2021, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Habs fall 4-1 to Vegas Golden Knights in Game 1 of NHL semifinal series

Match was Montreal’s first game outside of Canada in 2021

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Kelowna-Lake Country MLA Norm Letnick, assistant deputy speaker at the B.C. legislature, presides over committee discussions. The legislature is completing its delayed spring session this week, with most MLAs participating by video conference. (Hansard TV)
B.C.’s daily COVID-19 infections dip below 100 over weekend

Only 68 new cases recorded Monday, four additional deaths

Robert Nelson, 35, died after being stabbed at a homeless camp in Abbotsford on April 7 of this year.
Mom pleads for information about son’s killing at Abbotsford homeless camp

Robert Nelson, 35, described as ‘man who stood for justice, honour, respect’

The BC Ferries website went down for a short while Monday morning following a provincial announcement that recreational travel between health authorities can resume Tuesday. (Black Press Media file photo)
BC Ferries’ website crashes in wake of provincial reopening announcement

Website back up now, recreational travel between health regions to resume as of Tuesday

The Kamloops Indian Residential School is photographed using a drone in Kamloops, B.C., Monday, June, 14, 2021. The remains of 215 children were discovered buried near the former school earlier this month. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Communities grapple with what to do with former residential and day schools

Some tear them down as a tool to help healing, others repurpose them as tools for moving forward

Most Read