Support pours in for fire victims

Cause of Bell Street house fire last week is undetermined

Katelyn Gagnon and her family will spend the holidays in a one bedroom loft after their Stave Falls home on Bell Street was destroyed by fire last Wednesday.

It will be cozy with her common law husband, Ryan, and their two boys, ages two and six, but the young mom is happy to have a space of her own while they try to piece together what they have and decide their next steps.

“We’ll start looking for a permanent place after the holidays,” said Gagnon, who is grateful that her friend has offered the space, located in the same neighbourhood their home was in.

Two-year-old Hunter didn’t like staying at the hotel at all, Gagnon added. “He loved his home. Everyone is stressed out — there’s a lot of stuff to do, but we’re managing.”

The family is very lucky they escaped the fire uninjured, said fire investigator Capt. Mike Schmidt. “It was a very dangerous fire.”

The fire started in the northeast corner of the garage where it spread to the sun deck and the roof of the house, according to Schmidt. The fire alarms were only activated around 4 a.m. as the family was escaping because the smoke above the detectors.

The fire is not suspicious at all, said Schmidt, but the cause is undetermined because of the amount of destruction that occurred.

“The fire was active for some time before the residents saw it,” he explained.

The house will have to be replaced. Schmidt estimates the fire caused more than $300,000 in damage the house, not including contents.

The family who had been renting the house for more than three years did not have insurance to cover their losses.

Family, friends and even strangers have all offered to help Gagnon and her family. Hunter, who loves soft, stuffed toys, has received so many since he fire, Gagnon jokes they will have to find a house with a room just for his stuffies.

“Thanks to everyone who’s helped so far.”

Mission Towing on Wren Street is collecting donations and gift cards for the family. An account has also been set up at TD Bank to collect financial contributions for the family. The account number is 6266109.

Just Posted

You can make a difference in a child’s life

A dozen Mission boys and girls are on the Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Fraser Valley waitlist

Abbotsford pedestrian/cycling bridge to open next week

Free hot dogs promised for grand opening on Jan. 23

BREAKING: Accused Abbotsford school killer now fit for trial, defence lawyer says

Medication has quieted voices, Gabriel Klein told BC Review Board this morning

MP Ed Fast calls on PM to intervene in drug-smuggling death sentence in China

Fast says Abbotsford native Robert Schellenberg’s sentence is in retaliation for arrest of Meng Wanzhou

Man sentenced to death in China had prior drug convictions in Abbotsford

Robert Lloyd Schellenberg, 36, found guilty of smuggling 222 kg of meth

VIDEO: Car flies across median, flips over edge of Brunette overpass

Dash cam footage shows a vehicle speeding across a Lower Mainland overpass

Surrey needs 350 more cops, activist tells council

‘Right now we are 350 police behind what our population requires,’ politicians are told

Right-wing, neo-Nazi, white supremacist groups an increasing concern: Goodale

Ten people died in April 2018 when Alek Minassian allegedly drove a rental van down the busy stretch in Toronto

Where mattresses go to die

Mattress Recycling opens the largest of its kind mattress-recycling facility in Hope

Canadian stock exchanges to conduct lottery for ‘POT’ ticker amid high demand

The symbol became available after fertilizer Potash Corp. officially merged with Agrium Inc. in early 2018

Millennial Money: Don’t let Instagram envy get you into debt

A full 48 per cent of U.S. households have credit card debt

Jury debates fate of man accused of killing 12-year-old B.C. girl 40 years ago

Police allege Garry Handlen told a cop how he abducted, sexually assaulted and strangled Monica Jack in May 1978

Letters on way to all homeowners in B.C. speculation tax communities

Property owners have to register to avoid vacant-home tax

Most Read