Fire damage tops $500,000

John K. White

The cause of the fire that gutted a home across from Silver Star Elementary is still under investigation, but an estimate of the damages was released.

"A rough estimate of damages including the house and contents is approximately $500,000," said Christy Poirier, the city's manager of communications and grants. "Again, it is only a rough estimate."

Family escapes blaze

GoFundMe for fire victims

Considering the extent of the damage from the fire, smoke and water, it's not a surprising number.

Firefighters managed to minimize the damage to the neighbouring houses despite intense flames and swirling winds.

"We were dispatched for the report of a possible structure fire at this location," said Vernon Fire Rescue Deputy Chief Scott Hemstad on the afternoon of the fire. "It was fully involved before we got here."

Crews arrived and found flames coming from the roof.

"They quickly pulled a line and protected the exposure so that it didn't spread to the second house. There was limited damage to the second house thanks to the actions of the first crew," Hemstad said.

Meanwhile, the fundraiser for the family and renters of the home is closer to reaching the goal.

As of Tuesday afternoon, the GoFundMe page showed $7,100 raised of the $10,000 target.

"We need to come together as a community and support a mother and her two children," the GoFundMe page author wrote after the blaze.

"They were lucky enough to get out of the house safely, but their house (was) fully engulfed in flames. Emma's two children attend Silver Star Elementary, which is directly across the street of where they lived. They are going to need financial support to get back on their feet and to try to keep their routine as stable as possible."

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