Ross Millar is on the road to recovery and is expected to return home to Creston later this month, his sister, Sara Malyk, said last week.
Millar was severely burned on the night of April 30 when a suspected arsonist set fire to his apartment while he was sleeping. He was transported to Vancouver General Hospital in critical condition and has undergone several skin graft operations.
“Ross and his family would like to give a big thank you to everyone in this great community,” said Malyk. “We were overwhelmed by all the kind words, hugs, prayers and the amount of caring shown at this difficult time.
“We are grateful for all the financial support that Ross has received and is still receiving — he is sure going to need it.”
Millar, known to many for his friendly service at Your Dollar Store With More, was rescued from the blaze by firefighters. He was initially treated at Creston Valley Hospital, then airlifted to Vancouver. Elisha Jimmy, 21, was charged with arson following an investigation by the RCMP.
Remarkably, firefighters were able to contain the fire to two apartments in the 18th Avenue South building.
“The firefighters performed an incredible job for which they trained very hard,” Creston Fire Rescue Chief Mike Moore said the following day. “With one man rescued from the fire after succumbing to heat and smoke, and getting four other occupants out of the building and to safety, there is nothing more gratifying for me, as the fire chief.”
Millar is now at GF Strong Rehabilitation Centre, working to rebuild muscle mass and regain use of his limbs.
“We are happy to let you know that Ross is healing well, getting stronger every day,” Malyk said. “The family would like to give a special thank you to Penny Karpowich for her tremendous effort in establishing the trust fund for Ross at CIBC and for organizing and hosting fundraising events.”