Police suspect arson as the cause of a devastating house fire in Hedley early Sunday morning, Aug. 2.
While there were no reported injuries, a family has lost all its possessions.
“We had no insurance, there’s nothing. We barely walked away with our lives,” said Shannon Gauvin, who was able to get everyone to safety after she was alerted to the blaze by her dog.
The fire started in a motorhome on the property.
Gauvin was wakened at about 4 a.m., by barking. She was sleeping in her room, part of a garage attached to her father’s home, where two young girls were also having a sleepover.
“I jumped out of bed and looked out my window. [I saw] somebody running from the motorhome, and the motorhome going up in flames, very quickly.”
Gauvin said she hurriedly roused her father and his wife, and then returned to her room to rescue her dog, and six kittens.
Once she was certain everyone was safely out of the house, she returned to the garage, as the fire was spreading from the motorhome.
“We tried to stop the garage door going up, but we couldn’t stop it.”
Volunteer firefighters from Hedley and Keremeos responded, but were not able to save the house.
RCMP Sergeant Robert Hughes said the fire is being treated as suspected arson. A fire inspector from Salmon Arm was expected to arrive in Hedley Sunday morning to continue the investigation.
Gauvin said she is unsure what happens next.
“I don’t think I’ve actually quite comprehended everything that’s happened yet,” she said. “We are not too sure what we’re going to do yet. We’ve had a great support from the community with clothing, and people are offering lots of food [and] a few places offered to stay.”
Gauvin’s father is disabled and has other medical problems. All of his medications were lost in the fire, Gauvin added.
A GoFundMe page has been established.
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