Kathy MacKenzie and her daughter Katelyn are in need of a home while their townhouse is rebuilt.

Kathy MacKenzie and her daughter Katelyn are in need of a home while their townhouse is rebuilt.

Vernon family searching for a home following fire

Already amazed by the community’s collective heart, a Vernon mom is looking for a bit more help.

Already amazed by the community’s collective heart, a Vernon mom is looking for a bit more help.

Specifically, Kathy MacKenzie is seeking a place for her and her 22-year-old daughter, Katelyn.

The pair were displaced Sept. 13 after a fire broke out in a row of five townhouses at Kikanee Estates on Heritage Drive.

MacKenzie’s condo, a two-bedroom unit, was one of three severely damaged in the fire, and all five units housed people with disabilities.

The townhouse will be rebuilt but will take nine-months-to-a-year to complete.

As of Thursday at 1 p.m., MacKenzie and her daughter were temporarily staying with a sister.

“I’m looking for either a two-bedroom place that’s no more than $500 a month, or a one-bedroom place with enough room that I can move a bed into the living room, or something, for the two of us,” said MacKenzie, who suffers from a pancreatic disorder that makes life quite painful.

“I need to rest a lot,” she said. “It’s been really hard for me. All of what’s happened (since the fire), because of my illness, is an extra little problem.”

MacKenzie and her daughter have been guests at the Sandman Hotel courtesy of emergency social services and the Red Cross who extended the displaced tenants’ stay until Thursday.

Katelyn doesn’t work as she looks after her mom.

Vernon Native Housing, which manages Kikanee Estates, has dropped lists of potential accommodations off to the displaced tenants.

“I will be doing some phoning this weekend,” said MacKenzie, who has already been deeply touched by the outpouring of support from emergency social services, the Red Cross and complete strangers to the tenants who were burned out of their homes.

“It’s just amazing,” she said. “People have come forward here and there saying they’d donate this or donate that. A guy in front of us paid for our groceries. Buy Low Foods gave us gift cards within a minute of being in the store. That’s amazing to me.”

If anyone can help out MacKenzie, a message can be left at 250-545-0751, or 250-542-0500.