A family and their cat escaped a house fire Saturday night in Maple Bay. (Andre Foksowicz photo)

Island family escapes as blaze rips through their home just after they set up their Christmas tree

Maple Bay neighbours mobilize to help family after Saturday fire

Fire tore through a family home near Redcap and Grandview Streets in Maple Bay Saturday night.

Kristin and Ryan Pierce and their eight-year-old son had just gone to bed after setting up their Christmas tree when crackling in the attic woke them up. The family of three and their cat made it out safely.

Martin Drakeley, North Cowichan’s manager of fire and bylaw, said about 20 members from the Maple Bay and South End Halls worked on the fire for roughly two hours.

“It originally came in as a possible chimney fire and by the time the crews arrive a good portion of the roof was on fire,” he said. “Everybody was evacuated, there were no injuries.”

The investigation into where the fire started continues.

“We’re going to assume the chimney but at this point we’re not sure,” Drakeley confirmed.

While fire crews were dousing the flames, neighbours throughout the Maple Bay community were already mobilizing to help.

Isbaelle Latremouille Maheu has organized a burger and beer night at the Lion Rampant Scottish Pub all day Dec. 7. For $25, you’ll get a burger and a beer and all the proceeds will go to the Pierce family. The pub has also offered to collect donations for the family.

“Christmas is a few weeks away and her family has nothing and nowhere to live. Every donation, no matter how large or small, will help to bring some stability into this wonderful family’s world,” wrote Maheu on a GoFundme page.

Kathy Marven has donated two baskets full of handmade, homemade preserves for silent auction on the Pierce Family fundraising day at the pub and other donations are pouring in as well, much to the overwhelming disbelief of Kristin Pierce, who wrote a message on Facebook that Meheu shared on The GoFundMe page.

“Wow….it hasn’t even been 24 hours and the outpouring of love and support has been overwhelming and so appreciated. In a time of stress and turmoil, the love and kindness of people is what can pull us through,” she wrote. “Thank you to all who have reached out in supportive words, and to those who generously gave, so that our son would not go without. Thank you to the Maple Bay community. We had no idea when we moved to the area 1.5 years ago that we would be part of such a great family. We are forever grateful.”

To donate to the GoFundme page visit https://www.gofundme.com/f/hh26h-pierce-family)



sarah.simpson@cowichanvalleycitizen.com

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