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Community lifting up family knocked down by fire

A fire that started in the garage destroyed the house at 920 Holt St., leaving a young family homeless.
February 13, 2014 - 1:12 PM

KAMLOOPS — A fire that ripped through a house on Holt Street last week has left a young family without anything but each other and their dog.

A space heater is being blamed for a fire that started in the garage of 920 Holt St. early last week. Robert Power was working in the garage when the fire broke out. Knowing how devastated the girls would be if they lost all their belongings, Power, a stay at home dad, tried to save the girls room by running inside to close the doors. He then tried to extinguish the fire before firefighters arrived. Little could be done though as the fire quickly raged through the home in -20 Celsius temperatures.

Power, who shares the home with his common-law wife Stacey Jackson and daughters Sydney, 6, and Kelcie, 13, suffered major smoke inhalation and was put into a medically-induced coma for a day and a half. He is out of hospital now and sleeping on his parents couch. They have been staying with his parents since the fire and likely will for awhile, they have had a hard time finding a rental that will allow two kids and a large dog.

Ashleigh te Bulte says she didn't know what else to do to help the family of her daughter Sadie's best friend, but quickly created a Go Fund Me page after talking to a banker that recommended the online fundraiser.

It didn't take long for funds to start rolling in and while te Bulte is really happy with the support, she is hoping even more people will support the family in their time of need.

“I'm really happy with what people are doing, Kamloops is such a giving community,” she says. “(Robert and Stacey) are just so grateful.”

With Jackson off work, the funds will help pay the family bills while they struggle through. She works in Fort McMurray and had to leave her rotation early because of the fire. Now the family will try to find a place to rent and will replace clothes. A lot of money went towards Jackson booking last minute flights to rush home and te Bulte said her main goal is to help cover that cost as well as the future costs of Jackson staying home for a little while to provide emotional support for the girls and her husband.

Aside from losing their entire house and belongings, an old car Power and his oldest daughter were rebuilding together was also lost in the fire. The loss of the bond between her and her dad, as well as seeing him in hospital while in a coma has been hard on the oldest daughter. The youngest didn't see her dad in the hospital but has still had a hard time dealing with the whole situation. Te Bulte says it could be a while before Jackson can return to work and while her employer has been supportive she can't stay off work for too long.

So far more than $2,000 has been raised for the family through the Go Fund Me page and Menchie's Frozen Yogurt had also been collecting donations for the family. So many articles of clothing came in through the store within the first 24 hours the family had to ask donations be stopped while they sorted through the piles.

Stacey Jackson and Robert Power lost their house to a fire early last week.
Stacey Jackson and Robert Power lost their house to a fire early last week.
Image Credit: Facebook

To contact a reporter for this story, email jstahn@infotelnews.ca, call (250)819-3723 or tweet @JennStahn.

News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2014
InfoTel News Ltd

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