A GoFundMe account has been started to help a family that lost their home on Dec. 21 in fire at Riva Ridge mobile home park. Skylar Noe-Vack photo

Updated: Mother and son lost everything in Riva Ridge mobile home fire

GoFundMe started for Penticton family who lost home Friday

After a fire destroyed a home in the Riva Ridge mobile home park near Penticton on Dec. 21, a daughter is trying to help her mother out with a GoFundMe drive.

Related: Mobile home burns in Riva Ridge

Jenny Rowlands says they were lucky her mother, Charlotte, wasn’t home at the time, recovering from a previous surgery in hospital. Her brother Johnny, however, was home and had to be airlifted to the burn unit at Vancouver General Hospital with third-degree burns on his arms and stomach.

One of their two cats died in the fire, and the other is still missing.

“I’m taking it literally hour by hour,” said Rowlands in a phone interview with the Western News Sunday, adding that she is getting over the shock. “Reality is finally setting in.”

Rowlands expects her brother will be hospitalized for a few weeks, and her mother is in the hospital for a few more days.

“They sent him up to the Intensive Care Unit because he was having breathing problems. He’s kind of sedated right now.”

Rowlands was told her brother’s burns should heal on their own, and they don’t think he is going to need skin grafts. She’s been told her mother is also under medication in the hospital as she recovers from surgery.

“It’s tough, obviously, being away knowing that she’s not really fully knowing what’s going on because she’s in the hospital herself,” said Rowlands. “My concern right now is being here for my brother. And then I’ll have to go down to see my mom.

“But my dad is flying in right now. So he will be heading there tomorrow (Monday).”

Rowlands said her mother has no house insurance, and along with her brother, lost everything in the fire.

“I am looking for support to help her relocate and start her life over again once she is released from the hospital on or near Christmas Day,” wrote Rowlands. “My mother was always a giver and thoughtful when anyone was ever in need. Please open your heart and help my mother in a time of need. I’m so thankful my family is alive. Everything else is replaceable.”

Rowlands has received a few messages from people in the community asking how to donate physical items and gift cards. Any help is welcome, she said.

“I don’t actually even really know where to start. My aunt has told me that social services and the Red Cross are supposed to be stepping in, but we don’t really know to what extent,” said Rowlands.

Those wishing to donate can do so through their GoFundMe page at gofundme.com/charlotte-and-johnny-rowlands-house-fire-recovery.


Steve Kidd
Senior reporter, Penticton Western News
Email me or message me on Facebook
Follow us on Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Just Posted

North Okanagan Knights win home opener in double-OT thriller

The Knights defeat the Kamloops Storm 3-2 in a marathon of a home opener

Okanagan pipe band says farewell to standout member

Owen Cussveller excelled with North Okanagan Pipes and Drums for four years

Vernon Judo Club celebrates 75 years with open house

The Vernon Judo Club is the longest running Judo club in Canada

Jazz duo to swing into Falkland Community Hall

Blue Moon Marquee are back in the valley for a live performance on Thursday, Sept. 26

Vernon Vipers drop home opener to Victoria Grizzlies

The Grizzlies played a strong puck possession game and goaltending en route to a 5-1 victory

VIDEO: Grizzly bears fight along northern B.C. highway in rare footage

Cari McGillivray posted the head-turning video, shot near Stewart, B.C., to social media

Caught on Camera: Boat catches fire at Okanagan marina

The cause of the fire is unknown at this time, no injuries were reported as a result of the blaze

Handgun crackdown, health spending and transit plans latest campaign promises

Friday was the end of a busy week on the campaign trail

B.C. woman photographs massive ant swarm on Abbotsford driveway

She asked what the ants were doing? The answer: war

Police arrest B.C. phone scammer linked to illegal call centres in India

Person arrested in Burnaby here on a work visa, says police

Air Canada forced girl, 12, to remove hijab: civil rights group

The San Francisco Bay Area office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations calling for change

Man from Winnipeg who was hiking alone found dead in Banff National Park

RCMP say the man was hiking alone on Mount Temple Thursday

Okanagan hosts Mexico for soccer

The Okanagan Masters League won both matches against their Mexican counterparts

Epic overtime battle, big turnout for memorial night to late owner of Okanagan hockey team

The KIJHL’s Kelowna Chiefs hounoured Grant Sheridan with a win in the team’s home-opener

Most Read