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Penticton  

Help for fire victims

Jamie Humbird started a relief effort for her parents and the other fire victims the day after their homes were destroyed by fire in Princeton.

On Monday, she was still at it, sorting donated empties with the help of her friend Natasha Ferdinand at The Hut Bottle Depot.

"A month and a half ago my dad suffered a major heart attack and almost died, so they are absolutely devastated by this," said Humbird. "They lost everything, including their two cats."

Humbird's parents, Jim and Darlene Humbird, who are currently staying outside of Princeton, were two of four people who lost their homes, in a fire that burned three houses and three garages Thursday night in Princeton.

After the fire, they were put up in a motel, given whatever medications they needed, as well as clothing, if they required it, said Allan Kovaltsenko, president of Princeton Crisis Assistance.

"We are providing them with whatever they need, and there are all kinds of fund-raisers as well," he said.

In addition to the empties collection, organized by Humbird, there is a sign posted at Cooper's Foods that states, "We are  accepting donations for the three families that lost their homes in the March 27, 2024 fire."

Humbird appreciates the generosity of the community so far. Included in the aid, was a donation of an entire bin of empties by the Tulameen Fire Department.

"I haven't lived with my parents for a long time, but there were things in that house I grew up with," she said. "Many of the things they lost, you couldn't even put a value on."

Daniel Pettie has been identified as another man who lost all his belongings in the fire. He was at the scene, Friday, to try and salvage what he could. 

The other man who lost his home in the fire, has not been officially identified.

On Monday, investigators and the RCMP were still at the scene, where a security guard watched over the blackened homes.

There are plenty of rumours circulating in the small town, but still no official word on the cause of the fire.

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