UPDATE: North Okanagan helping family who lost everything in house fire

A Cherryville family lost their home to a fire Wednesday, Nov. 18. (Contributed)A Cherryville family lost their home to a fire Wednesday, Nov. 18. (Contributed)
The glow of a house fire lights up Cherryville Wednesday, Nov. 19. (Contributed)The glow of a house fire lights up Cherryville Wednesday, Nov. 19. (Contributed)
A Cherryville family’s home was destroyed by fire Nov. 18. (Contributed)A Cherryville family’s home was destroyed by fire Nov. 18. (Contributed)
A Cherryville family lost their home to a fire Wednesday, Nov. 18. (Contributed)

A Wednesday night fire destroyed the home of a Cherryville family just five weeks before Christmas.

“It was too far gone before anybody could do anything for it,” one neighbour said. “I could practically see through the house when I got there. It went up fast.”

The Jervah family, a couple and two older daughters weren’t home at the time of the blaze, which destroyed the Creighton Valley Road home.

“My heart goes out to the family,” neighbour David Fairful said.

The community is already responding and looking for ways to lend a hand.

“They are the sweetest family. I’m sure they could use any help they can get,” Cherryville resident Tess Arcand said.

A GoFundMe has been established to help them rebuild, as they had no insurance to cover the loss. You can donate online, at https://gf.me/u/y9hffu.

“This family is trying hard to stay positive but (Wednesday) night they had to watch their family home go up in flames,” organizer Bethany Mcisaac said.

The local thrift store has welcomed the family to come and get whatever they need. Frank’s General Store also has a donation jar at the front counter. And several businesses are donating proceeds from sales to the family.

Three dogs and three cats in the home also escaped the fire unharmed.

“We’re all OK, got all the animals and people out thank God,” Denise Jervah said. “We are just a little lost right now, we were only able to grab some shoes and car keys.”

The family is looking for a place to stay with their pets.

Cherryville is outside of the fire protection zone. Defeated efforts from years ago to try and establish a department have been renewed recently.

One resident has been trying to get the zoning changed at the old works yard in order to have a volunteer fire department started there. But a number of bureaucratic roadblocks keep coming up.

Lumby Fire Chief Tony Clayton says efforts to set up a department years ago were defeated by residents due to the high costs to get it started.

But without fire protection, insurance costs are too high for some to afford.

READ MORE: Lumby teen reunited with dirtbike

READ MORE: Interior Health reports 38 additional cases of COVID-19


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