Online fundraiser started for family who lost everything in West Kelowna fire | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Online fundraiser started for family who lost everything in West Kelowna fire

Firefighters tackle a blaze on Ponderosa Road in West Kelowna, Thursday, March 4, 2021.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/Jason Brolund

After a fire in West Kelowna left a family with nothing but the clothes on their backs, the community is rallying in support.

Fire gutted the Ponderosa Road home in West Kelowna on March 4. A firefighter was injured when he fell through the floor into the lower level and two pets died in the blaze. The fire was deemed accidental from cooking in the lower level of the home.

Surrey resident Tammy Scheepbouwer said her aunt Joanne Bingham and her cousin Daryl Mapstone lived in the top floor of the house and her cousin Tammy Bingham and her two children lived in the downstairs unit.

READ MORE: Firefighter injured in West Kelowna blaze

Scheepbouwer said her family members do not have rental insurance so she started a GoFundMe to help them raise money for larger items like furniture. Neighbours have also started collecting clothing for them.

“A lot of renters think it will never happen to them, and unfortunately they didn’t have insurance,” she said. “They got out with their clothes, and right now they have an immediate need for basic (clothing, food and shelter).”

The family will be looked after by emergency services until Monday, March 8.

“As of Monday they’ll be completely displaced and have to find an alternative,” Scheepbouwer said.

Family and friends will take them in temporarily, she said.

As of March 5, the GoFundMe had raised $822 raised of its $10,000 goal. The fundraiser can be found online here.

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