‘Everything was just orange’: 4 people, 10 pets displaced after Peachland, B.C. fire

Click to play video: 'Peachland fire displaces four people and pets'
Peachland fire displaces four people and pets
A massive fire broke out at a home in Peachland early Saturday morning. Taya Fast spoke with two of the victims who are now displaced and desperately looking for a new place to live – May 20, 2024

It’s been three days since a Peachland, B.C., home burst into flames, but the emotions are still raw for the now-displaced tenants.

Rozander St Jean and Tristan Brigden, along with their two roommates were home at the time of the fire — as well as their three dogs, four cats, a snake and two birds.

“It was horrible. I was in hysterics all day,” St Jean said.

“I’m still holding it in,” though she added she is now “coping with it a little bit better.”

Click to play video: 'Fire destroys four structures in small city'
Fire destroys four structures in small city

The house is located along Coldham Road, off Trepanier Bench Road.

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St Jean and Brigden lived in the basement of the home and heard a crackling noise around 3 a.m. on Saturday.

“I went to the screen door, and I looked out and everything was just orange,” Brigden said. “Like the whole backyard was just completely orange.”

Brigden said he heard loud crackling, “and then the whole roof just flamed up.”

“Then I thought, I’ve got to get in. I’ve got to yell at Rosie and say, ‘There’s a fire, there’s a fire. We’ve got to get out.’ She grabbed Seb (their dog). I’m freaking out. I don’t know what to do.”

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The pair rushed to gather their pets and some belongings and tried to connect with their upstairs neighbours before fleeing the home.

Most of the pets were accounted for immediately after the fire except for one cat, which is still missing. A roommate sustained minor injuries.

“Obviously, it was just pure adrenaline,” Brigden recalled. “I’m just trying to do what I can to make sure I can figure out what I need to do.

“I don’t know, it was crazy, it was chaotic. I’ve never been through anything like that before.”

Click to play video: 'Crews called out to two house fires at one Oliver home'
Crews called out to two house fires at one Oliver home

The fire is believed to have started upstairs. However, the cause was unknown as of Monday evening.

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The home sustained serious roof damage and remained boarded up on Monday as an investigation is underway to determine how the blaze started.

Fire officials have not released any information about the blaze.

“(One roommate) lived here for 13 years, and they lost everything,” St Jean said. “We were lucky enough that we were downstairs because the fire was upstairs but, yeah, it was horrible.”

The four tenants aren’t allowed to retrieve any personal belongings from inside the house, nor can they move any vehicles.

“Just the support from the whole community and everybody, it was just amazing. And it keeps going and our coworkers are giving us clothes and helping us out,” St Jean said.

“I just think that’s amazing and everybody’s just helping so much.”

Click to play video: 'Penticton home goes up in flames'
Penticton home goes up in flames

For now, the four tenants have been placed in a hotel but are focused on finding new places to live.

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Two GoFundMe campaigns have been launched with the hope of helping all four tenants get back on their feet.

One page has been started for Rozander St Jean and Tristan Brigden and a second fundraiser for their roommates.

“Help, help everybody. We’re so thankful for everything that everybody’s doing and, obviously, it’s a really tough time,” Brigden said.

“They needed a lot, they need a lot, they lost everything. We did as well but they’re going through it so you know, any support would be great.”

Click to play video: 'Keremeos couple loses everything in fire'
Keremeos couple loses everything in fire

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