Williams Lake business owner anxious over mounting costs of evacuation

Sue Lachance said her family has been overwhelmed with kindness since the evacuation order, but are growing worried about their business. Sue Lachance / Facebook

A Williams Lake family forced from their homes by the wildfire evacuation order says they’ve been overwhelmed with kindness, but are growing worried about what they may have lost.

Sue Lachance owns New World Coffee in the city, one of the last businesses to stay open before the official evacuation order came down nearly two weeks ago.

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She said her livelihood is now facing thousands of dollars in lost business and rotting food.

One of her employees has already quit.

“For the small mom and pop places like ours, it’s a tough go. Financially and psychologically it’s very difficult,” she said.

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“When you think about us walking out as we had to on the evacuation, all of our produce will have to be replaced — thousands of dollars.”

But despite the losses, Lachance said her family has been repeatedly surprised by the kindness of strangers.

First a family in Vernon opened their home to the Lachances, and shortly afterwards they were surprised again.

“We received a phone call from a couple in Vancouver who offered their home to us. They were leaving on a holiday overseas and they called us up out of the blue and said, ‘hey do you guys want to come down?’”

READ MORE: New drone footage shows homes destroyed in Loon Lake due to wildfire

Lachance said despite the kindness, her café is never far from her mind.

She said she’s been told there may be some financial help for small businesses, but that for the most part she’s expected to rely on her insurance.

She said it’s possible her insurer will make a special concession to cover some of the losses.

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