The community has rallied around siblings Laura and Javier Monsalve

The community has rallied around siblings Laura and Javier Monsalve

Community rallies around tenant of Old East Road house fire

Community rallies around Latin dance instructor who lived at 6010 Old East Rd., which burned on Feb. 2

When Javier Monsalve returned to his two-bedroom suite at 6010 Old East Rd. last Friday, he hoped to find an insurance representative there.

Instead, the doors and windows of the well-known Latin dance instructor’s home were boarded up, and he was told he’d wait close to a week before he could get inside.

No rush, says Monsalve, as he anticipates nearly all of his belongings are beyond salvage from the fire and water damage that ripped through the home on Feb. 2.

“When I first got (to the fire) it was a moment of either choosing chaos in my mind or staying tranquil in calm waters, and I chose the bright side over the darkness,” he said.

Monsalve, sister Laura and her four-year-old daughter Ali, who live with Javier at the residence part time, were away when the daytime fire broke out.

“I have me health, my legs and hands, my essence. This is a sign for a new beginning, the closing of one door, the opening of a new door,” he said.

Supporters of the siblings set up a crowdfunding site last week, which had raised more than the $5,000 target by Friday (Feb. 13). This week CFAX Santa’s Anonymous presented Ali with a new set of toys to replace those she lost in the fire.

“(Ali) doesn’t fully understand what the fire means for us, we’re just telling her it’s time to stay and grandma’s for a while.”

Monsalve credits the great response to the dancing community he’s been apart of since he moved to Greater Victoria 12 years ago.

As the founder of the Sabor Asi Dance Company, Monsalve said the Latin dancing community around it has been a source of healing now more than ever.

“I don’t have receipts, I don’t know how much I’ve lost in terms of value,” Monsalve said. “One thing is I didn’t have (tenancy) insurance, so this is a valuable lesson for me. Maybe it can be a wake-up call for others.”

The house has four rental units in total, and three (including Monsalve’s) suffered significant water and smoke damage, said a Saanich Fire department spokesperson.

“Dancing is a portal for renewal and revitalizing and a door to happiness, we’re not just saying these things but leading by example, and will continue to,” Monsalve said.

For now, he has taken up residence at a friend’s house who is away for an extended vacation. It gives him time to accumulate the furnishings he’ll need when he finds his own home once again.

The Feb. 2 fire wasn’t without it’s casualties.

An off-duty Saanich firefighter noticed the building was on fire and alerted the upstairs tenant, and managed to escort one person from the house during the fire but the landlords lost two cats, two dogs and a parrot to smoke inhalation.

“It’s sad. We’d always see the dogs walking, heard the parrot, and we always played with the animals when we were upstairs,” Monsalve said. “I’ve only been living in that space since October. I was planning on being there for a while.”

The Monsalves are grateful for the response and are asking anyone who wants to help to donate to the Victoria Fire Fighters Charitable Foundation and to the B.C. SPCA.

reporter@saanichnews.com

 

Just Posted

Theatre SKAM is offering mobile, pop-up performances to Greater Victoria residents once again this summer. They’ll feature emerging artists Yasmin D’Oshun, Courtney Crawford, Kaelan Bain and Kendra Bidwell (left to right). (Courtesy of Theatre SKAM)
Theatre performances can be ordered to Greater Victoria front yards this summer

Theatre SKAM offering mobile, pop-up performances once again

Diana Durrand and Arlene Nesbitt celebrate the new artist space in 2014. Gage Gallery moves this summer from Oak Bay to Bastion Square in Victoria. (Black Press Media file photo)
Gage Gallery moving to Bastion Square

Vivid Connections, a showcase by Laura Feeleus and Elizabeth Carefoot, opens new venue June 29

Days after students’ return to Victoria High School was delayed by a year, the province has announced some amenities that will be included in the school’s expansion project. (Photo by Cole Descoteau)
Child-care spots, artificial turf field, non-profit space included in Vic High expansion

SD61 now aims to welcome students back at the high school by September 2023

Gwen Spencer Hethey with her uncle and mentor Major Frederick Richardson. (Courtesy of Greater Victoria Sports Hall of Fame)
‘She was a killer’: The Victoria woman who pioneered female sharpshooting

Gwen Spencer Hethey made military men ‘look like turkeys’ says her son

Anita Troop officially turns 100 on Sunday and cards are pouring in from around the world. (Courtesy Marina Miller)
Cards roll in from around the world for West Shore 100 year old

About 100 cards have come for the woman who turns 100 on Sunday

A small pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins pass by close to shore in Campbell River June 16, 2021. Still capture from video courtesy of Kimberly Hart
VIDEO: Dolphin sunset captured from Vancouver Island shore

Spectacular setting for view of travelling pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins

A North Vancouver man was arrested Friday and three police officers were injured after a 10-person broke out at English Bay on June 19, 2021. (Youtube/Screen grab)
Man arrested, 3 police injured during 10-person brawl at Vancouver beach

The arrest was captured on video by bystanders, many of whom heckled the officers as they struggled with the handcuffed man

Patrick O’Brien, a 75-year-old fisherman, went missing near Port Angeles Thursday evening. (Courtesy of U.S. Coast Guard)
Search for lost fisherman near Victoria suspended, U.S. Coast Guard says

The 75-year-old man was reported missing Thursday evening

Bruce Springsteen performs at the 13th annual Stand Up For Heroes benefit concert in support of the Bob Woodruff Foundation in New York on Nov. 4, 2019. (Greg Allen/Invision/AP)
Canadians who got AstraZeneca shot can now see ‘Springsteen on Broadway’

B.C. mayor David Screech who received his second AstraZeneca dose last week can now attend the show

New research suggests wolves can be steered away from the endangered caribou herds they prey on by making the man-made trails they use to hunt harder to move along. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Culling cutlines, not B.C. wolves, key to preserving caribou herds: researcher

The government has turned to killing hundreds of wolves in an effort to keep caribou around

Gary Abbott (left) and Louis De Jaeger were two of the organizers for the 2014 Spirit of the People Powwow in Chilliwack. Monday, June 21, 2021 is Indigenous Peoples Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of June 20 to 26

Indigenous Peoples Day, Take Your Dog to Work Day, Onion Rings Day all coming up this week

Central Okanagan Grade 12 grads are set to get $500 each after a more than $1 million donation from a Kelowna couple. (File photo)
B.C. couple donating $500 to every Grade 12 student in the Okanagan

Anonymous donors identified as Kelowna entrepreneurs Lance and Tammy Torgerson

Rita Coolidge played the main stage at Vancouver Island Musicfest in 2017. (Black Press file photo)
This year’s Vancouver Island MusicFest to virtually showcase beauty of Comox Valley

Returning July 9 through 11 with more than 25 hours of music performances

Most Read