Traffic reporter swoops in to help fire victims

Shanyn Maguire, a reporter for the Canadian Traffic Network, gets a close-up look at the devastation of the apartment fire at 411 Ash St. that she covered from the air for News1130. She
Shanyn Maguire, a reporter for the Canadian Traffic Network, gets a close-up look at the devastation of the apartment fire at 411 Ash St. that she covered from the air for News1130. She's organized a fundraiser to be held at the Burnaby Winter Club in April to help the residents of the building's 31 suites who were left without a home.

Shanyn Maguire has seen her fair share of tragedy.

A reporter for the Canadian Traffic Network, she tells listeners of News1130 about traffic chaos and road closures that often arise from accidents and fires.

As Maguire and her pilot flew their Cessna over the scene of the fire that destroyed an apartment building at 404 Ash St. on Jan. 31, her heart broke for the residents of the 32 suites who lost everything.

She’s been there.

Maguire was moving from the Fraser Valley to Vancouver in 2005 when the truck that carried all her possessions caught fire on the Mary Hill Bypass in Coquitlam.

The truck, and her furniture, were destroyed.

To help get her back on her feet, a Good Samaritan gave her $1,000. Her employer at the time donated a bedroom suite.

So when Maguire returned to Boundary Bay airport after circling 1,500 feet above the Ash Street fire during her shift, she wanted to help.

“When I landed, everything I’d seen came back to me,” said Maguire. “It was very emotional.”

Maguire has organized Dress Up Your Heart, a fundraiser to help the victims of the Ash Street fire rebuild their lives. It will be held April 10, 7 p.m., at the Burnaby Winter Club. Her goal is to raise $8,000 that will be donated to the New Westminster Fire Fighters’ burn fund to be distributed to the residents.

Maguire put the wheels in motion for her charity effort as soon as her feet hit the tarmac.

The venue is donated, as is the catering by Drew Cooks!

She’s lined up entertainment, including vocalist Marika Siewert, a jazzy trio and two comedians from Lafflines. She’s assembled an array of items for silent auction, including salon and spa packages, paintings, personal training sessions, even stand-up comedy lessons.

Maguire said she’s still on the lookout for more businesses that want to get involved. She’s talking to local banks about matching the funds her event is able to raise.

“It’s important that people don’t forget about the fire,” said Maguire.

And from her personal experience, she knows every little bit helps.

“It was only $1,000 and a bedroom suite a long time ago,” she said of assistance she got after her own fire. “But it saved me.”

To buy tickets to Dress Up Your Heart, or just to make a donation, go to


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