Five people have been left homeless in Moricetown after a fire tore through their home the morning of Sunday, May 6.
Michael Alfred was already at work at Kyahwood Forest Products around 6 a.m. when he was called and told his Park Road home of seven years was on fire.
Although several members of the volunteer fire department responded as quickly as they could, the house was entirely gutted.
“We lost everything,” Alfred said.
At the time of the fire, Leona Wilson was home with her three children: Jennifer, 2, Lucius, 4, and Michael Jr., 5.
Wilson was able to get all of the kids safely out and no one was injured in the blaze.
Wilson said the kids told her they had been playing with a lighter they had taken from her coat.
Alfred said he did not have insurance on the house and for now, the family is staying with his sister.
Community support for the family has been swift, with donations of blankets and other items being delivered to their temporary home.
Dallas Nikal, who works in the accounts payable office at Kyahwood, said staff have been encouraged to support the family through payroll deductions.
Avril Jack, chair of housing for the Moricetown Band, has children of similar age as Wilson.
The day after the fire she delivered donations and planned to speak with the family in her official capacity soon.
“As it has just happened, we need to try and find out where they are as far as items they need, ” Jack said.
An account has been established at the Bulkley Valley Credit Union in Smithers so the public can make donations to the family.
The account number is 377119.
Non-monetary donations can be arranged by contacting Alfred’s nephew, Andrew Tom at 250-877-0013 or 250-877-8013.
The Fire Prevention Canada website shows that, on average, fire kills eight people each week in Canada and that residential fires account for 73 per cent of those fatalities.
An educational kit for parents to use in talking to their kids about fire safety, is available on their website at www.fiprecan.ca.