Kelowna senior considers living in car after losing everything in fire

Click to play video: 'Kelowna senior told to consider staying at homeless shelter after losing home to fire'
Kelowna senior told to consider staying at homeless shelter after losing home to fire
It is a desperate public appeal for help. A Kelowna senior along with her daughter are homeless after losing their home to a fire last week. The pair had no insurance saying they couldn't afford it and now as Klaudia Van Emmerik reports, they're hoping for some community support to get back on their feet. – Sep 15, 2022

Debra Charlton lived in her mobile home in southeast Kelowna for 16 years before fire consumed the structure last week.

The 68-year-old senior shared the home with her daughter, Amy Logan, 45.

“Everything I owned was in there for 16 years,” an emotional Charlton told Global News.

Read more: Formula 400SS boat goes up in flames in Kelowna, B.C. marina after motor runs through the night

“I don’t even know. I don’t even know how to move to tomorrow,” Logan said.

The home in the 4300 block of Jaud Road went up in flames on Sept. 7, around 4:30 a.m.

Charlton was out of town at the time and Logan was staying with a friend.

Story continues below advertisement

Charlton said losing important keepsakes has taken a big toll on her.

“My parents’ ashes, my brother’s ashes, my husband’s ashes, my photo albums. That was the first thing that came to me,” Charlton said.

Click to play video: 'The painstaking process of rebuilding Lytton'
The painstaking process of rebuilding Lytton

What made the loss more difficult, though, is that the two had no insurance.

“I had house insurance all along, but when I went to renew the insurance last time, it went up from $500 to $1,100. And I did not have the money to do it,” she said.

Charlton is on a fixed income and Logan, who says she has a brain injury, is on disability.

For the past week, the two have been staying in a hotel, which was covered first by Emergency Support Services and then the Red Cross.

Story continues below advertisement

That support, however, has come to an end.

“This morning, it ran out,” Charlton said. “I have to check out at 1 o’clock today.”

Read more: Documents raise questions about review of 2021’s White Rock Lake wildfire

With no family around and long wait lists for affordable housing, Charlton said she’s been told by social agencies to consider staying at a homeless shelter.

“I’ve never stayed in a homeless shelter,” she said. “That’s a walk of life I know nothing about. The thought of even staying in one scares me.”

When asked where she would be staying on Thursday night, Charlton said likely in her car.

The pair is also facing another dilemma: The costly clean-up of what’s left of the mobile home and pad they lease.

“My landlord said I can keep the property, but I am responsible for cleaning this up and he wants it done now,” she said.  “I have no money.”

Click to play video: 'Major fire guts two Vernon homes, destroys RV'
Major fire guts two Vernon homes, destroys RV

Charlton said it’s left her with no choice but to make an appeal to the community for help.

Story continues below advertisement

“I need a place to live right now. My daughter and I need a place to live right now,” she said. “And we need to find some disaster relief that will help clean this up.”

The fire started at the back of the mobile home, quite possibly in the master bedroom but with so much damage, fire investigators were unable to determine an exact cause.”

Click to play video: 'Volunteers help White Rock Lake fire victims rebuild'
Volunteers help White Rock Lake fire victims rebuild

Both Charlton and Logan are now not only pleading for help but also reminding everyone to always have insurance.

“If anyone doesn’t, they should because I never thought this would happen to me,” said Logan. “And look at where I am today.”

If anyone would like to help the pair, contact them by email.

Story continues below advertisement
Click to play video: '‘Half an hour and we would have been dead’: Alberta family loses everything in dryer fire'
‘Half an hour and we would have been dead’: Alberta family loses everything in dryer fire

Sponsored content