The couple who perished in the Penticton apartment fire on Oct. 27 have been identified through an obituary.
A Kettle Valley Memorial obituary was posted online for William and Margaret Taylor.
“It is with heavy hearts, that we announce the sudden passing of Mr. William Taylor and his wife Margaret Taylor on Tuesday October 27, 2020 in Penticton, BC. The family would like to thank everyone for their caring thoughts and prayers during this time.”
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the displaced fire victims at redcross.ca/donate and also to the Penticton BC SPCA.
Condolences are pouring in for the well-loved couple.
Nancy Fletcher wrote on their memory wall: “Both Marg and Bill were clients of mine and I will miss Marg especially. We had so many great visits over coffee in my Salon. Loved hearing about their travels and adventures.”
Several trees have already been purchased and will be planted in their honour.
Eileen Tymm wrote, “Bill was a great worker with me at the soup kitchen. We will all miss them. Marg loved to sing in the choirs.”
Many spoke of the couples love of travel.
On Oct 27, around 4 a.m., the fire ripped through the Clarence House apartment building on Elm Avenue with firefighters continuing to douse hot spots by 8 a.m.
Once the fire was out and a structural engineer deemed it was safe to go in, fire services located the bodies of two people.
The fire has been deemed accidental but because of insurance reasons, the Penticton Fire Department will not be releasing the cause to the public.
The blaze caused extensive damage to the west side of the building. Dozens of residents have been displaced. Fire victims were put up in a local hotel through Emergency Social Services but that was only for a few days. Displaced residents will have to find long term accommodations, said Penticton Fire Chief Larry Watkinson. The building suffered extensive damage and it will be a long time before residents can move back in, he added.
The community has shown an outpouring of support for the fire victims and now there is a way for residents to donate.
People can now direct clothing and household donations to Penticton’s Salvation Army Store. Financial donations can be made at the Red Cross.
“Clothing, bedding, and similar items can be given to Penticton’s Salvation Army store Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.,” said Adam Goodwin, the city’s social development specialist. “Cash donations can be directed to the Red Cross at redcross.ca/donate.”
Evacuees will receive a special voucher at the Salvation Army store to shop for items they may require. Likewise, evacuees who did not have insurance may receive emergency supports through the Red Cross. All donations will help provide funding for victims of this fire and future emergencies.
“The compassion, empathy and care our community has for each other is shining through,” said Penticton Mayor John Vassilaki. “Residents and businesses have been calling the city asking where they can best support evacuees, so I’m grateful to see the Salvation Army and Red Cross stepping forward to help as they always do. This is another example of our close-knit community working together during a time of need.”
Earlier this week, The Nest restaurant was making meals for evacuees and Junk in the Trunk, an online thrift store was offering donations of clothing and household items.
The Salvation Army reminds the community that, due to space constraints, it can only accept limited furniture items in good condition.
All donated items go into The Salvation Army’s general inventory to ensure fire evacuees have access to the store’s full inventory. The Salvation Army remains open to anyone in need, and no one in need is turned away.