Kamloops area family loses everything in fire; needs your help to regroup

A family of four from the small town of Walhachin west of Kamloops are hoping to pick up the pieces after they lost everything in a devastating fire which destroyed their home on Friday, Oct. 9, 2015.
Image Credit: Contributed

WALHACHIN – A family of four from a small town west of Kamloops are hoping to pick up the pieces after they lost everything in a devastating fire which destroyed their home last week.

The fire started on the back porch of the home on Friday, Oct. 9.

Katherine Allen, her husband Brian and their two children moved back to Walhachin, a community along the Trans Canada near Savona, from Fort St. John in August after work in the oil patch became scarce.

The Allans don't have fire insurance and Walhachin is not in a fire protected area. The family lost everything.

During the blaze, the Skeetchestn Indian band agreed to send their fire truck but it did little to help.

“By the time they got here it was done,” Katherine says. The home, and everything in it, was completely destroyed.

Katherine says the fire started after Brian restocked their wood stove.

The Allans lived in a turn of the century building, Walhachin’s original school house, which used a wood stove for heat. The stove was located on a back porch.

She is unsure whether something fell on the stove or if its door swung open, but says what actually happened doesn't matter.

“We've got no insurance, there's no point,” she says of conducting an investigation.

Currently the whole Allan family, including daughters Stephanie, 12, and Ashley, 11, are living in Brian's parent's mobile home.

Brian's stepmother Marlene Allan has accepted the fact her home will not be clean for the next while, but says at least her family has a roof over their heads.

Marlene has created a page on the Gofundme website to raise some money to help the family get back on their feet. She hopes at least to collect enough to purchase a camper trailer to park on the family's property so they have somewhere to live.

She says they are also accepting donations of girls' clothing and toys. The youngest lost her birthday gift, a wiggle scooter, in the fire.

“I wish I could give them a bunch of money but I can't,” Marlene says adding her husband, Brian’s father, is quite ill having just had a quadruple bypass.

“I do realize its Christmas time coming, but if you could find it in your hearts to give... we’d be so grateful.”

You can dontate at the Allan Family Fire Fund page on gofundme.com.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Dana Reynolds at dreynolds@infonews.ca or call 250-819-6089. To contact an editor, email mjones@infonews.ca or call 250-718-2724.

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