A Ladysmith woman is raising money for family members left homeless after a devastating fire on Stz’uminus First Nation land near Chemainus on Monday.
Sam Rozell’s older sister Amanda, brother-in-law, two adult nephews and niece as well as the woman’s boyfriend were all living in the two-storey home.
“They didn’t have house insurance so they’re going to need to start from scratch,” Rozell told the Chronicle on Wednesday. “They’re going to have to live with another family member for the time being until they figure out how to get the funds to find another home.”
A total of 17 firefighters from Chemainus, Crofton and Ladysmith all responded to the scene on Waynes Road shortly after the call went out at approximately 11:20 a.m. on Monday.
The fire had fully engulfed the home even before crews arrived on scene.
“The whole top floor was on fire,” said Chemainus Fire Chief Al Irwin. “All the top windows had fire coming through it.”
Five of the occupants of the home were inside at the time and all managed to escape without injury along with the dog.
The family is currently staying at a motel in Chemainus and Rozell said her sister is still very emotional when discussing the incident.
“The are still in shock and disbelief,” she said. “My nephew went back there yesterday and brushed through the outer perimeter and was able to salvage a birth certificate, his wallet, just a couple of minor things.”
Stz’uminus First Nation has provided the family with three meals a day until Friday and have also paid for the room at the motel.
A meeting was set to take place on Wednesday to see how the band might provide further assistance going forward.
In the mean time, Rozell has set up a fundraising page where people can donate: https://www.gofundme.com/amanda-gibson-house-fire-recovery
The family is planning to move in with an uncle near the site of their home while they make plans on how to move forward.
“My sister was talking about wanting to try and afford a used mobile home so hopefully once the debris is all clean they can possibly have something small in because they don’t want to move far away,” she said.
Several bags of clothes have already been donated but anyone else interested donating essentials can contact Rozell at 250-245-8638.