Campbell Riverites have been stepping up to help out a local family who recently lost a home to fire.
On the morning of Jan. 10, a home that has been in the Masters family since 1957 went up in flames. The fire destroyed the entire home, leaving the resident without a place to stay and his two children left with the responsibility of tearing down and cleaning up the mess.
“There was no insurance on the home and my dad’s on disability as well,” said Malcolm Masters. “My sister and I just know that the responsibility is going have to fall to us at some point as far as getting everything taken down. The place is a tear-down, nothing survived. It’s basically a shell.”
Masters started a GoFundMe with the hopes to help cover the costs of tearing the ruins down and cleaning up the property, as well as any extra costs to help house their father.
“We just thought that we wanted to get something going for our dad. Last week I put up the GoFundMe and I went and got a motorhome out there, we’re just trying to cover some of these costs,” he said. “We already have one quote, it’ll be like 10 to 20 grand to level the house and get everything out of there, not to mention whether or not there’s asbestos, because that’s just going to be another situation.”
Masters’ father tried to fight the fire, getting up onto the roof and using a garden hose to try and slow the spread of the blaze. He fell off the roof, Masters said, injuring himself in the process. Masters said that he and his sister grew up in the home, and that his father had lived his whole life there. The home had been in the Masters family since the late 1950s, when his grandparents bought the place.
“It was just a couple of bachelors who had built it a few years before that. We’ve been basically the only family in there,” he said. “Dad’s lived his whole life there. It’s just a bit of a devastating one.”
The community has stepped up to help out, however. A local supply rental shop, C&L Supplies, helped repair a generator that has been keeping Masters’ father’s motorhome powered since the accident, and GFL Environmental helped by supplying a portable washroom for the site. Theresa Morgan, who runs a beauty salon in Campbell River helped by donating towels, kitchen utensils and other necessities.
“I would like to thank everyone who has donated. The support has been incredible,” he said. “The funds will be going towards clearing the lot. We have already had one estimate at 10 to 20 thousand if no asbestos is discovered, 30 to 50 thousand if asbestos is discovered. But we will have to send samples to Nanaimo for that to be determined.”
“It’s incredible,” he added. “It’s overwhelming to see friends, family and people who have grown up in Campbell River who have driven by the place forever. It’s pretty cool.”
The GoFundMe was started on Jan. 20 and has raised just over $3,000 as of Sunday morning.