A family who lost everything in a New Year’s Eve fire is trying to rebuild what they lost.
The fire broke out at about 12:20 a.m., January 1, shortly after New Year’s celebrations were ending in Agassiz. It is believed the fire started in the garage of the Morrow Road bungalow, said Fire Chief Wayne Dyer. All the occupants managed to get out of the house, after seeing smoke from the garage, and no one was injured in the blaze.
Then, onlookers watched helplessly as the house was engulfed in flames.
“The blaze was huge, with at least one very loud explosion,” said Jackie Perry. She was among a group of seniors who had gathered at the Friendship House for New Year’s celebrations. That recreation centre sits almost directly behind the house that caught fire.
The group at the Friendship House had just finished singing Auld Lang Syne when someone spotted large flames, Perry said.
By the time they had gotten out the door, fire crews were already busy dousing the flames.
Since the fire, friends and family have taken to facebook, searching for items to be donated to the five residents affected by the fire. Among them are two children (a boy and a girl) and their mother, her boyfriend, and a roommate.
The facebook page, titled Friends in Need… House fire on New Years, has resulted in a few donations, including beds, assorted furniture, clothing and some small items.
RCMP and Chief Dyer say the fire is suspicious and is currently under investigation.
There was another alleged crime in the same approximate time and location that night, but police say they have no reason to believe the two incidents are related. Shortly after midnight, also on Morrow, a woman reported being beaten by two men.
With so many people awake and active just after midnight that night, RCMP are hoping someone will come forward with information about either crime.
Editor’s Note: This story has been update from its original version, based on clarifications made through comments below.