Deceased firefighter John Carr had a hobby, perhaps an obsession. He collected artwork, a lot of artwork. In fact, his collection, even when stacked on shelves, took up two bedrooms in the home he shared with his wife Betty.
When Langley resident Erik Vogel received the call about Betty wanting to donate the artwork he was uncertain who to call for help. Vogel is a Burnaby firefighter and director of the B.C. Burn Fund with the B.C. Professional Fire Fighterâ€™s Association (BCPFFA). He knew the artwork could help BCPFFA, but he wasnâ€™t sure how to go about it.
â€œJohnny was a real character, a long-time firefighter. He died 10 or 15 years ago and Betty kept the collection untouched until recently,â€ Vogel said. â€œI didnâ€™t want to turn the opportunity down.â€
â€œShe [Betty] signed off on [donating] the collection,â€ he added. â€œShe saved some for her home and Maynards came in for the ones they thought had big value. We were asked to come get the rest.â€
Vogel approached the Langley Arts Council for help and then executive director, Don Shilton, arranged a five-tonne truck. With the abilities of a few firefighters, the paintings were transported to the Langley Arts Councilâ€™s location on the one-way section of Fraser Hwy.
â€œI grabbed some firefighters and we moved all the paintings,â€ Vogel said of the 1,200 or so pieces of the collection.
Tyler Bruce, John and Betty Carrâ€™s nephew, was one of the helpers to transport the paintings.
â€œBetty called Tyler wanting to donate the art to the Burn Camp,â€ Vogel said. â€œAnd Tyler called me.â€
â€œBurn camp is for any child aged six to 18 whoâ€™s been in a burn unit,â€ he said.
Itâ€™s a week for kids with burns to forget about their scars and concerns, and be with other kids with the same experiences.
â€œYouâ€™ll hear them asking how each other got burned,â€ Vogel noted. â€œThen youâ€™ll see them having fun. We play hard up there. They love it.â€
Bruceâ€™s desire to help with the paintings is two-fold, according to Vogel.
â€œTyler was a young firefighter, a rookie, on a crew to a call where he ended up doing CPR on a burned child. He asked to be the kidâ€™s counsellor [at Burn Camp],â€ Vogel explained. â€œHe came on as a councillor, but had to wait a couple years for that kid to come out.â€
Many children scarred from burns feel too embarrassed to go to a camp, but according to Vogel, once they see how fun it is, they canâ€™t get enough.
Vogel is hoping there is a hidden treasure in the donated paintings to help with funding Burn Camp.
Peter Tulumello, cultural services manager with the Langley Centennial Museum, has been helping to catalogue and price the artwork.
The Langley Arts Council is credited by Vogel for its help in building shelves, storing, displaying, marketing, and selling the artwork. He hopes people will come in and buy one or two pieces.
â€œThey [the Langley Arts Council] were excited because itâ€™s paintings and itâ€™s [the proceeds] for charity, so itâ€™s kind of a win-win,â€ Vogel noted.
Fort Langley bed and breakfast operators Mike and Marilyn Masterton bought several pieces to decorate their property.
Another aspect the BCPFFA would like to see funded is the new Burn Fund Centre in Vancouver which provides accommodations for burn and trauma patients and their family caregivers. The project is currently in a funding shortfall.
â€œItâ€™s so frustrating,â€ Vogel noted. â€œWeâ€™re $2 million short. Burns are the worst injury the human body can endure without dying.â€
To arrange a private viewing of the John Carr Collection, contact Harmony at the Langley Arts Council at 604-534-0781 or email@example.com.
Most people know to run cold water over a burn, but Langley resident and firefighter Erik Vogel noted most donâ€™t do it long enough.
Ten minutes is the length of time needed to pull the burn out, he said.
â€œYou have 10 fingers, count down one finger for each minute,â€ he added.
Use the coldest water you can stand, he said, but not ice. Ice on a burn is too drastic.