A Coldstream family of five was able to salvage some belongings but most everything they had, along with their home, went up in smoke Monday morning.
Coldstream Fire Department, with assistant from Lavington, dealt with a house fire in the 11600-block of Kalamalka Road shortly before 7 a.m.
One adult had left the house before the blaze, and one adult and three children were inside when the fire broke out at the rear of the home. All got out safely.
“When we arrived, flames had already breached through the roof,” said Coldstream Fire Chief Dave Sturgeon. “We weren’t sending crews in, it would be too dangerous with the roof collapsing so we did what we could with what we had.”
The family also had a couple of cats which were safely escorted out of the home.
The cold weather and location of the home, on a slope above Kalamalka Road, made fighting the fire difficult.
“The temperature and topography of the house created challenges, built on the side of the hill there,” said Sturgeon. “With the cold and the water from the fire hose, and obviously ice created challenges for us but we overcame it and got the fire out.
“Unfortunately it looks like a total loss. We had to get an excavator in to pull the roof off.”
The family has relatives in the North Okanagan that are helping to look after them, and emergency social services were also put on to the displaced family.
A GoFundMe page has been started for the family with a $25,000 goal. As of 3 p.m. Monday, after only five hours of fundraising, the donations had reached almost $4,000.
The house was insured.
Kalamalka Road was closed for approximately six hours as crews fought the fire and cleaned up afterward. Traffic was re-routed around the scene.