Fundraising is underway for a Kelowna family that was displaced Monday when their home caught fire.
A friend of the single mother and teenage girl whose Woodlawn Street home was destroyed by fire, Michaela Veselic, said while there is no good time for a fire, it’s been a significant hit.
Clothes and possessions have been destroyed but it’s the sentimental loss that will be hardest to overcome, she explained.
The teen’s dad died in 2015 and 95 per cent of the artist’s work was in the house and is now gone.
“It would just be really nice if anyone could help out. They don’t deserve this at all,” Veselic said. “No one has a lot of money right now, so … even $5 would be great because they have to pay for the vet bills (for two cats rescued from the fire) now, too. It’s just a lot going on.”
The family did have renter insurance but Veselic said it’s unclear what will and won’t be covered at this time or when that reimbursement will come into play.
The origin of the fire has yet to be determined but the blaze wiped out the family’s house and damaged two others.
At approximately 4:15 a.m., multiple 911 calls were made, alerting fire crews to a house on fire in the 2200 block of Woodlawn Street.
It was a neighbour who alerted the family to the fire.
“She woke up and saw a kind of an orange glow,” Paul Johnson, Fire Prevention Officer, with Kelowna Fire Department said.
“She assumed at that time that it was the sunrise, however, being 4 a.m. she realized that wasn’t true. So she came running over, ran into the front door to wake everybody up.”
Everybody evacuated very quickly, Johnson said, adding that it’s a good thing because the fire was fast moving.
“Also, two other exposure structures properties (were) involved. The home suffered major damage while the exposure properties suffered moderate damage.”
One of the properties was vacant at the time. Four occupants were transported to KGH with smoke inhalation.
Three cats were taken to a veterinarian for treatment.
As of yet, no cause has been determined but Kelly said crews will investigate the fire to determine a reason throughout the morning.
The fundraiser can be found through this link.