UPDATE 1:42 p.m.
A bit of positive news for the family who lost nearly everything in the fire.
All four of their cats survived.
Their cat, Sage, has been found safe after he went missing early this morning.
UPDATE 10:30 a.m.
People who live nearby are being asked to keep an eye out for one of Sandra’s cats.
Two of her four cats were taken to a veterinarian for treatment after being rescued from the fire. They are expected to make a full recovery.
Another cat was on a sleep-over at a friend’s house, but the fourth, Sage, is still missing.
It’s believed he escaped the fire and may be wandering the area, frightened.
He’s a large, neutered male with grey, striped fur.
If you find Sage, contact Sandra at 250 317 5840.
UPDATE: 9:45 a.m.
A GoFundMe has now been set up in the name of Sandra Bouchard.
She’s the widowed single mother who lost her rental home in the fire.
The post says Sandra and her daughter Ava ran out of the house with nothing.
“I never thought I'd have to write this type of request. This is completely devastating for The Bouchards as they have lost everything, except the TV remote which the firefighters recovered. They are in shock as they lost all the prized possessions and art from Sandra's husband and Ava's dad,” writes Lorena Poitras.
Donations can be made through this link.
ORIGINAL 8:45 a.m.
A house has gone up in flames near Kelowna General Hospital, but the single mother and teenage daughter who lived there are safe, thanks to a neighbour.
Lorena lives in the 2200 block of Woodlawn Street. She was awake around 4:15 a.m. when she saw an orange glow and thought it was the sunrise. She quickly realized that instead, it was the house next door on fire.
Lorena called 911 and rushed over to alert her neighbours. She says the smoke alarms had not gone off and she had to go inside to help the mom and teen escape.
They got out just in time but needed to be treated at KGH for smoke inhalation.
“Honesty, it’s a miracle, It’s a miracle. I don’t know how I happened to be awake,” says Lorena
The fire destroyed the home and damaged two other buildings nearby. The Kelowna Fire Department says a fourth person was also treated for smoke inhalation.
The single mom is still trying to find out if all four of her cats are accounted for. KFD says three cats were taken to a veterinarian for treatment.
The fire department responded with four engines, a rescue unit and a command vehicle. Investigators will be on the scene this morning.
Lorena says the fire department confirmed that a squatter was inside a vacant home where she suspects the fire may have started.
“It’s a vacant house and carriage house that squatters have been living in. And I have called by-law and I have called the RCMP and we knew this was going to happen. We knew this was going to happen,” she says.
She even reached out to her realtor to contact the property owner in Vancouver to tell them to board up the building. The house is apparently scheduled for demolition but the permits are caught in a backlog at city hall.
Lorena will be starting a Go Fund Me to help her friend and the woman’s 17-year-old daughter. They got out of the burning house with just the clothes they were wearing.