|The Madaisky family home in Surrey sustained heavy damage from a Saturday fire.|
(Photos by Austin Madaisky)
By GREGG DRINNAN
Daily News Sports Editor
It was Saturday, 3 a.m., and Austin Madaisky’s mother was screaming.
“At first I thought someone might have been breaking into the house,” said Madaisky, a defenceman who played the last 2 seasons with the WHL’s Kamloops Blazers. “I just sprinted out of my room, wondering ‘What the heck is going on?’ ”
Madaisky, his parents, Dolores and Pat, sister Clarissa, brother Aaron and girlfriend Nicole were asleep at the time and were able to escape without injury. However, the house sustained major damage.
“It could have been a lot worse,” the 20-year-old Madaisky said. “Everyone’s OK.”
The fire appears to have started in a shed that was a few feet from the house. Madaisky said the shed contained mostly sports gear like “bikes, roller blades, tennis rackets,” but that there may also have been some fertilizer and perhaps a jerry can with some gasoline in it.
Steve Zecchel, a battalion chief with the Surrey Fire Service, said Sunday a call came in at 3:18 a.m., but that a cause hadn’t yet been found. He confirmed that the SFS will continue its investigation into the fire.
“It was crazy,” Madaisky said. “Something in the shed must have caught on fire. The shed kind of exploded. By the time we all got out of the house you couldn’t even see the shed; it was just flames.
“It was surreal. There’s five or six feet between the shed and the side of the house. The top of the roof of the house caught fire and then it just . . .
“The entire top floor was damaged. It’s gone from the fire. There’s water damage. It looked like a hurricane went through the entire house.
“Things like clothes and stuff that was in drawers, they managed to save almost everything like that. But the structure of the house, from the smoke and the water and everything, just started to fall apart.”
While Madaisky hadn’t heard a damage estimate, he did say the “house is pretty much toast.”
Madaisky’s father lost what his son referred to as a “super pub . . . his dream pub” that he had built in the basement.
But it could have been worse because Pat ran his law firm out of the house, with a lot of the business being centred in a garage-like building that was near the shed.
“They were pretty concerned about that,” Austin said. “But the firefighters were really good; they managed to save pretty much everything. It was insane . . . it’s an entire law firm!
“Everything got a little wet but they have ways to get those papers dry.”
The Madaisky family has been told it should plan to be away from home for 12 months. The plan is to spend a few nights in a nearby hotel while looking for a house to rent “while they restore the old house,” Madaisky said.
Meanwhile, he continues to prepare for what might be the first season of his professional career. In May, he signed a three-year deal with the Columbus Blue Jackets, who selected him in the fifth round of the NHL’s 2010 draft.
But with the NHL perhaps headed for a lockout, he isn’t sure where he’ll play.
Madaisky is to join Blue Jackets’ hopefuls in Traverse City, Mich., on Sept. 15. However, that is the day the NHL’s collective bargaining agreement with players is to end and management has said it isn’t prepared to continue to operate without a CBA.
“Everyone is going to get bumped down the depth chart a little bit if there is a lockout,” said Madaisky, who, under normal circumstances, likely would be ticketed for the Springfield Falcons, the Blue Jackets’ AHL affiliate.
But if there is a lockout he might find himself back in Kamloops.
“It’s an absolute possibility,” he said. “Whatever happens happens. If I come back to Kamloops for another year it’ll be a lot of fun . . . to come back and contribute again.”
JUST NOTES: Madaisky will be back in Kamloops in a few days to skate with the Blazers, who open rookie camp on Aug. 22. Main camp opens on Aug. 26. . . . G Emerance Maschmeyer, 18, has been named to the U-22 Canadian development team that will play a three-game series against the U.S. this week in Calgary. She is the younger sister of former Blazers D Bronson Maschmeyer. Emerance is the lone Albertan on the team. There aren’t any B.C. players on the U-22 roster.
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