The outpouring of community support for the Grandbois family of Naramata continues to be strong in the aftermath of Sunday’s fire.
The uninsured Plexus Woodworks shop on Gulch Road located next door to their home was consumed by flames in the blaze which began about 9:30 a.m.
“The gifts of all kinds to the Grandbois family have been incredibly supportive and they (family) are very grateful,” said Harald Simmerling, who is Rick Grandbois’ brother in law. “Many people have been working in multiple ways to help.”
Just how much public support according to Simmerling was evident in the fact two “well-meaning” friends set up online fundraising campaigns without each other’s knowledge.
“These independent actions were a heartwarming example of people stepping up and moving in lovely directions,” said Simmerling. “No one is really being encouraged to donate twice. Once, if it fits, is fantastic. Thank you.”
Rick and his wife Harriet started Plexus about 20 years ago and were well known for the artisan-style products made from reclaimed wood. Rick also expressed his appreciation (Western News, May 27) for the kindness of people at this difficult point.
Harriet and four of the couple’s five children were in the house at the time of the fire and Rick was working in the orchard nearby.
High winds moved the flames quickly through the wooden structure.
At the height of the blaze four fire departments, Naramata, Penticton, Summerland and Kaleden, were on scene.
The Grandbois home and another residence nearby were not damaged.
Up until the fire there were four employees working at Plexus.
The couple is currently considering their options about continuing the business, saying right now it is too early to make a decision.
The links to the two sites where people can contribute are