An online fundraiser hopes to raise $100,000 for a couple devastated by Sunday’s duplex fire in Central Saanich that caused extensive damage and displaced four other individuals.
Carla and Brian Wallace escaped the duplex at 7987 Galbraith Cres. “wearing only the clothes on their backs” after having lived there for a quarter-century according Leah Carroll, who organized the fundraiser. The home suffered extensive damage during the fire.
“It’s hard to imagine the loss of the place you called home for 25 years, where you raised your children, the home that was so full of love and memories for so long,” said Carroll. “We all know Brian and Carla well, and they are the last people in the world who deserve this.”
As of Wednesday afternoon, 24 donors had raised $3,550.
According to Carroll, the couple lost everything in the fire. “Though they’re so grateful to have made it out safely, some items are not replaceable, wedding rings, family photos, and the memories that were made inside their family home,” she said.
The campaign is also asking for donations of clothing, furnishings and equipment among other items with Caroll accepting them on the couple’s behalf.
“During this tragic and traumatic time, we’re hoping that all of the family and friends who love Brian and Carla, can come together and make this life-changing event a little more bearable for them,” she said.
Writing on Facebook, Brian Wallace said he and his wife are safe and unharmed. “We would also like to thank all of you who have, and will, reached out to us with kindness, love and offers to help us get through this most difficult time,” he said.
Two local children living in the neighbourhood (Finlay Jobe and Eamon Lee) and two of their friends have also started a door-to-door fundraising campaign, having raised $223 as of Wednesday afternoon, with more fundraising scheduled in the coming days. (Almost half of the money — $100 — came from Lee’s own savings).
Kelly Richardson, Finlay’s mother, said her son felt very badly about what happened after speaking with his friends, including Eamon, who lives close to the site of the fire. “They came up with the idea to go out after school and go door-to-door and just try to raise some money,” she said.
Richardson, who lives about a block away, said she did not see the fire, nor does her family know any of the affected individuals. “But we knew of it,” she said. “Everybody was talking about it in the neighbourhood. It’s a pretty tight-knit neighbourhood.”
The fire remains under investigation.
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