Members of the Okanagan Indian Band are rallying around a local family after a fire forced them from their home Wednesday.
The Saddleman family fell victim to a house fire Wednesday in the mid- afternoon at their Westside Road residence.
“The damage to the house was quite extensive,” said Tetku Coutlee of her mother’s home. “Almost the whole roof was lost in the fire, the top floor was ruined by fire, and the basement was ruined from water damage, and then freezing. So our mother, uncle, brother, sister, and family dog have lost all of their belongings along with native American art that had been collected for decades.
“Although it is our family home that all of us have grown up in and have so many memories, we are very grateful that everyone is safe especially since our mother’s four grandsons had been spending the week with her, and were at school when the fire started.”
Since the home likely won’t be able to be rebuilt until spring, the family is in search of a four-bedroom home. Another family member is also working to collect donations to help the family.
“The family escaped unharmed but sadly lost man irreplaceable memories and memorabilia,” said Glenda Louis, who is helping to organize donations. “The family has sought support with family and close friends at this time and contributions are very much appreciated to help the family get through this difficult and stressful time.”
There will be a fundraising spaghetti dinner and loonie auction Monday evening in support of the Saddleman family, starting at 5 p.m. at the Head of the Lake hall (tickets available at the door on a first come, first serve basis).
The care and concern shown by all is greatly appreciated by the Saddleman family.
“The family is thankful to the fire department for doing as much as it could, and to the Okanagan band and community for stepping forward right away to try and assist the best that they could,” said Coutlee. “Our father was the late chief Albert Saddleman and he would have been very proud of how everyone has stepped forward when we needed it most.”
Some of the items needed include toiletries, socks, slippers, pajamas, photos (copies to rebuild the family memorabilia), gift cards, a hot homemade meal for the family/host and a supporting visit or a cup of coffee.
Those wishing to assist the family can email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 250-309-0712.