Students of View Royal elementary school gave thanks at the View Royal fire hall to all the emergency personnel who saved the life of their classmate Katrina Van Winkle

Students thank View Royal FD for saving classmate’s life

View Royal elementary students marched to the View Royal fire hall to thank the firefighters for saving Katrina Van Winkle's life.



On her first day back to class, View Royal elementary student Katrina Van Winkle and hundreds of her classmates marched to the View Royal fire hall to thank the firefighters that saved her life.

The shy nine-year old stood holding a letter she wrote thanking the firefighters, especially fire Chief Paul Hurst for risking his life to save hers.

Hurst pulled Van Winkle from the fire on March 14. He found her on the floor unconscious and not breathing.

“Katrina gave it her best to get out,” said Hurst. “We made sure she got out.”

Emotions ran high on the sunny afternoon between firefighters, teachers and parents all with the knowledge that this story could have had a tragic end.

The Grade 3 student was airlifted to B.C. Children’s Hospital she was discharged from hospital March 16. Her first day back to school was March 27.

“I couldn’t keep her home,” said her great grandmother Sue Utendale, who was also in the home the morning of the fire. “There has been such an out pouring of support from so many people in the community. One day we hope to thank them all individually.”

The family has moved into a townhouse in View Royal.

Katrina and her classmates yelled a big “thank you” to the firefighters, sang a song about View Royal and they left dozens of signs and banners students created to thank the department and other emergency services that assisted at the fire.

“This is great the entire school is supporting this student and for them all coming to the fire department it’s pretty noble,” said Hurst.  “This is a once in a lifetime opportunity.”

A total of 34 firefighters from View Royal and Colwood fire departments attended the fire.

Katrina was home with her grandmother and great grandmother when the early morning fire started. All three were rescued.

“Without working smoke alarms this certainly could have been fatal,” said Hurst emphasizing the family had smoke alarms on all levels of the home. “It was the smoke alarms that got them out of bed.”

Investigators found that the fire began in the basement where combustibles were stored too close to a baseboard heater in the laundry room.

Hurst would like to urge families to ensure  they have working smoke alarms and practise fire drills and escape routes on a regular basis so there are more happy endings.

charla@goldstreamgazette.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Just Posted

Saanich jam stand at the centre of controversy prepares to close

Staff review of roadside stand legislation too late for Little

Convicted drug trafficker asks Victoria courtroom for chance to ‘turn this around’

Horst Schirmer sentenced for convictions on five counts of possession related to trafficking

$11 million overdraw for McKenzie Interchange construction

The project has been delayed multiple times and is now estimating a budget of $96 million

Alzheimer Society calls for helpline volunteers in Greater Victoria

Charity is in ‘urgent need’ as calls on the rise

Pipeline protestors plan march as Trudeau gives Trans Mountain the go-ahead,

20 kilometre march to protest the pipeline starts in Victoria, ends on Saanich Peninsula

VIDEO: Trans Mountain expansion project gets green light, again

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the decision in Ottawa on Tuesday afternoon

POLL: Do you support the government’s decision to approve the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion?

The federal government announced Tuesday its approval for the Trans Mountain pipeline… Continue reading

Greater Victoria wanted list for the week of June 18

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Man to be sentenced for sexual abuse of young girl in Nanaimo

Stephen Mark Castleden also sentenced for child pornography-related charges

MPs hear retired B.C. nurse’s petition to change compensation for fatal medical errors

Teri McGrath wants provinces to implement no-fault system for medical errors

Horgan says he’ll still defend B.C. coast after second Trans Mountain approval

Meanwhile, one B.C. First Nation has announced plans for a legal challenge

VIDEO: Firefighters stop blaze from spreading after BMW crashes at Saratoga Speedway

Victoria-based businessmen were ‘corner training’ on Father’s Day when incident took place

Demonstrators on either side of Trans Mountain debate clash in Vancouver

Crowd heard from member of Indigenous-led coalition that hopes to buy 51% of expansion project

Grieving B.C. mom hopes Facebook message leads to new investigation into son’s Surrey homicide

Criminal Justice Branch didn’t lay charges, concluding no substantial likelihood of murder or manslaughter conviction

Most Read