A house

Fire damages house and carport in Smithers

It isn’t how Kevin and Catherine van Sickle expected to spend Christmas, but a fire on the evening of December 22 left them without a home.

It isn’t how Kevin and Catherine van Sickle expected to spend Christmas, but a fire on the evening of December 22 left them without a home.

“I didn’t know what to think,” Kevin said when his brother-in-law called to tell him his home was on fire.

“I just wondered how that happened.”

At the time of the fire, the van Sickles were enjoying a Christmas supper in Telkwa.

The house, on 22nd Avenue,  the van Sickles have called home for the last 15 years, was rendered unlivable by a fire that started in the carport.

Despite the fire, Kevin said Christmas was not a sad affair.

“Christmas was really good,” he said.

“We managed to salvage the Christmas gifts.”

Damage to the carport and house is extensive, Kevin said.

The carport, the main structural wall and the roofs will have to be replaced.

Smoke damage, in addition to rendering the house unlivable, also ruined much of the contents of the house, Kevin explained.

The fire, which began about 8 p.m. forced the van Sickles, along with their children Andrew and Ashley to move into an apartment with their eldest child, Ryan.

Despite the extensive damage, the structure is salvageable and that is good news for Kevin.

“I’m kind of glad it didn’t burn down to the ground,” he said.

In fact, the couple hope to be back into their home sometime in March or April.

For now, the couple are looking for a place to stay.

Family and friends have also opened an account at the Bulkley Valley Credit Union where donations can be made to help the van Sickles get back on their feet.

The account number is 392159.

If you have an apartment or home to rent please call Bev Leer, 250-847-2674.



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