Mother loses everything in fire

With her baby daughter in her arms, on Tuesday Shelby Phipps could barely look back at the burned out remains of her home.

Shelby Phipps holding daughter Isla and Riley Cleveland at the scene of the fire on Valleyview Road. The blaze happened Saturday evening and destroyed all of her belongings.



With her baby daughter in her arms, on Tuesday Shelby Phipps could barely look back at the burned out remains of the Valleyview Road home where she was born and raised.

This Christmas is her, and partner Riley Cleveland’s, first with baby Isla who turns four months old on Friday.

But right now all they want is somewhere to live, try and cope and come to terms with Saturday’s blaze which destroyed the mobile home where they were staying temporarily with her father.

“This is devastating, everything I had and the baby stuff is all gone,” said Phipps standing outside the security tape surrounding the skeletal remains of the structure. “I really don’t know what we’re going to do, we’re staying at his (Cleveland’s) moms right now, I just don’t know, my phone’s going off the rails, talking to emergency services, the Red Cross and they’re trying to figure stuff out for me because I just don’t know what to do.”

Penticton Fire Rescue were dispatched to the call just after 7 p.m. that night and when they arrived the mobile home was fully engulfed with flames shooting high into the sky.

According to Cpl. Don Wrigglesworth a man, who Phipps said was her father, was inside the residence but he managed to escape after being awakened by a neighbour.

“Riley and I were at a Christmas party and about 8:30 p.m. my grandma (who lives next door) called and said I better come home, not home but to her house right there,” said Phipps motioning to the house nearby. “Then we saw all the police cars and fire trucks. I gave a statement and was able to walk up close to it, but I could only go so far obviously because it was still on fire.

“I only stayed for about 45 minutes because I had my baby.”

In total, 30 firefighters were eventually dispatched to the scene and had to return just after 1 a.m. Sunday when several hot spots flared up.

At this point no cause has been determined and RCMP and the fire department are continuing to investigate.

According to Phipps, who said all of her mother’s belongings were also lost, they did not have any content insurance and she’s not sure if her grandparents’, who own the property, insurance will cover her.

“I don’t know how it’s going to work out but I don’t think it’s going to help us,” she said. “People have been really generous, they’ve given us baby stuff and clothes and toys. Everybody has been so great and super kind, but right now I need somewhere to live.”

They had been staying at the residence after leaving their previous apartment in August. Her brother Justin LeClerc is also in town helping out.

A GoFundMe page was set up by Samantha Bruder two days ago in hopes of raising $5,000 to help the young family get back on their feet. So far just over $2,000 has been donated.

Donations can be made at www.gofundme.com/valleyview-house-fire.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Stay away from landfills, Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen urges

Residents urged to use curbside collection services, stockpile recyclables during COVID-19 pandemic

Interior Health officials outline pandemic response in virtual town hall

Kelowna-Lake County MLA Norm Letnick moderates digital discussion, Q&A with Interior Health leadership

WATCH: Penticton boy celebrates birthday, from a distance

Lucas Lemke celebrated his 11th birthday while practising social distancing

At-home learning for SD67 students to begin April 6

In-classroom learning remains suspended due to COVID-19

Second Vernon-area high school exposed to COVID-19

Kalamalka Secondary School staff, students urged to self-isolate if showing symptoms

B.C. is seeing the highest rate of COVID-19 recovery in Canada, and there’s a few reasons why

British Columbia was one of the first to see rise in COVID-19 cases, and has also switched up testing

Earth Hour 2020 kicks off online Saturday night

Action moves online due to COVID-19

Okanagan woman baking for those in need amid COVID-19

Vernon’s Crystal Hedlund launched a GoFundMe page to generate funds for baking materials

Okanagan distillery hands out thousands of sanitizer bottles, needs help in COVID-19 fight

Okanagan Springs is donating hand sanitizer to help fill COVID-induced shortages

B.C. COVID-19 cases rise 92 to 884, one more death, 81 in care

Outbreak action underway in 12 long-term care homes

B.C. veterinarians want to smooth the fur of COVID-19-worried pet owners

Vets expect to continue giving your fur buddies the help they need while social distancing

B.C. VIEWS: Small businesses need our help

Just as integral in neighbourhoods in Vancouver and Surrey as they are in Prince George or Kelowna

‘Tremendous’ response from blood donors has supply keeping pace with demand

About 400,000 of Canada’s 37 million residents give blood on a regular basis

Most Read