Two Surrey brothers who risked their lives to save twin baby girls from a burning apartment in Whalley were honoured recently by the Royal Canadian Humane Association.
The Canada Bravery Awards ceremony, held at the B.C. RCMP headquarters in Green Timbers Tuesday, April 23, honours people who have demonstrated profound courage.
Matthew Gallant has been awarded the Silver Medal for Bravery and his brother Simon Gallant was awarded the bronze medal.
The fire happened in January 2011, in a third-storey apartment at Mainstreet apartments in Cedar Hills, after a lamp fell on a bed, igniting some blankets. The 20-month-old children, Ava and Samantha, were in the apartment with their mom and three-year-old brother. The Gallant brothers heard the mother’s screams and dashed in to help.
“The whole apartment was full of smoke,” Simon said at the time. He said it “hit him like a tonne of bricks” after he turned the knob on the girls’ bedroom door.
Matt darted into the bedroom as Simon ducked out for a gulp of air. Matt grabbed one of the girls, jumped back in and grabbed the other, with his brother at his side.
Sadly, Ava later died in B.C. Children’s Hospital, in Vancouver.
Samantha was recently featured in Lower Mainland media and her progress has exceeded all expectations.