Georgia Paige Klap was a musician, dancer and idealistic young woman who wanted to make the world a better place.
On Monday, Klap was identified by the B.C. Coroners Service as one of two young women who died in a house fire early Saturday morning at 1320 Johnson St.
Emily Grace Morin, 20, and Klap, 22, were rescued from the burning building by Victoria firefighters. Morin was pronounced dead on arrival at Royal Jubilee Hospital. Klap was transported to Victoria General Hospital and died later in the intensive-care unit.
Although Mark Mitchell’s parents have said their son died in the fire, coroner Barb McLintock could not confirm he is the third victim.
“We’re pretty sure because he’s unaccounted for,” said McLintock.
Friends of Morin and Mitchell told the Times Colonist there was a party at the house Friday night. Firefighters say the blaze may have started on the porch, where a fire in a couch earlier in the night may not have been fully extinguished.
Klap attended the University of Victoria and was interested in travel and other cultures. After graduating from high school, she spent a year at the Youth Initiative Program in Sweden.
“All the wonderful gifts I have gained from the people I have met and the places I have seen in the past year and a half, I intend to carry with me in my future endeavours,” she wrote in her short biography on the youth program’s website.
Klap also volunteered for Mosqoy, a charitable organization that offers remote communities in the Peruvian Andes opportunities for economic development while nurturing their threatened indigenous culture. She was listed as the assistant co-ordinator of the Campus Community Garden board of directors at UVic last year.
Andrea Zittlau, a friend and former co-worker, said she and Klap worked together at UVic’s Campus Community Garden, where Klap contributed a great deal of energy.
“She was an incredible person with a real passion for bringing people together and making positive change in the world. It’s a huge loss and she’ll be greatly missed.”
Morin and Mitchell were a couple. They were not your typical young adults, said Emily’s mother, Heather Morin.
Both graduated from the horticulture technician program at Camosun College in 2010 and worked on organic farms in the province as they started their careers.
“Everyone’s kids should be like these kids,” Heather said. “They would have changed the world.”
After graduating, Emily and Mark immediately travelled the province working on organic farms in exchange for room and board. It was all part of the World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms program, known as WWOOF.
They were proud of a massive organic garden project they helped build in Campbell River — a two-acre farm producing food that was harvested and sold directly to locals through a weekly food-basket program.
“They loved that farm,” Heather said. “We went to visit them for several weeks to help them. We laughed and cried and laid down on the earth because it was so exhausting.”
Heather remembers taking her daughter to teach her how to drive, but with mom behind the wheel, Emily could barely pay attention because she was identifying all the plants they passed, by their Latin names.
Simple walks through the woods could take hours with both of them stopping to study everything they saw, Heather said. She remembers Mark carried a magnifying glass on a chain around his neck and would pull it out to study plant life.
A joint service for Morin and Mitchell is planned for Sunday. Service information is expected to be posted shortly on a memorial page on Facebook called Remembering Emily and Mark.
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