Alex, Lexi and Grace lost all of their belongings, including their vehicle, in a residential fire on Monday, April 27, 2020. (Gofundme/Martz House Fire photo)

Shuswap family loses everything in residential fire

Fundraising effort underway, public also asked for help replacing items lost

A fundraiser is underway for a Shuswap family that lost everything but their lives in a residential fire.

A gofundme page, titled Martz House Fire, was set up to support Alex, Lexi and two-year-old daughter Grace, who were renting a home in Ranchero, near Salmon Arm, that caught fire in the early morning hours of Monday, April 27.

“They (including their two dogs and two cats) awoke and escaped just in time before their house burned and collapsed,” writes Alethia Perry, Alex’s sister who set up the fundraiser.

Sean Coubrough, Fire Services Co-ordinator for the Columbia Shuswap Regional District, said the Ranchero-Deep Creek Fire Department responded to the blaze in the 100 block of Hamley Road at approximately 4:30 a.m. Upon arrival, firefighters found a fully involved residential structure fire. Coubrough said the fire was in the roof and venting from windows.

Coubrough said the father had left for work when the mother was woken by a crackling noise around 4 p.m. After finding the living room on fire, she immediately got her daughter out of the bedroom window, and then went after the dogs.

With the home engulfed, firefighters initiated a defensive operation to contain the blaze. RCMP and B.C. Ambulance personnel also attended the scene, and Coubrough said the occupants were treated by paramedics before being transported to hospital in Salmon Arm for smoke inhalation.

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“Emergency social services assisted the residents and are helping them out with getting clothing and food and necessities,” said Coubrough.

Firefighters remained on the scene until about 9:30 a.m. on Monday.

On the gofundme page, Perry explains the family lost everything in the fire, including their vehicle. Furthermore, they had no rental insurance. A list of items the family will need is provided, including: clothing, child/baby items (crib, high chair, clothes, toys, books), a place to rent, food, pet supplies, furniture, kitchen supplies and more.

“They are a beautiful family who are working hard to start out their marriage, dreams and family,” reads the Gofundme page. “They were on track with their goals to save for a house and were working hard on all of their dreams, projects, gardening and house-improvements.

“This is a big set-back, but one which they are confident that they can rise above together!”

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Firefighters continue to knock out hot spots remaining from the residential fire. (Sean Coubrough/CSRD photo)

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