Residents on the Saanich Peninsula are rallying around a Sidney family with a five-year-old daughter, after a fire Saturday afternoon caused severe damages to their home one month before Christmas.
The home where Janine and Bob Taverner lived with their daughter Georgia until Saturday afternoon remains behind yellow tape Sunday morning, its garage a scorched and scarred skeleton composed of wood and household items. But if the young family of three — he is a long-haul trucker, she a stay-at-home mom, who also runs her own business (Rustic Tavern Illustrations) — faces an uncertain future, the rest of the community has stepped up.
Sidney Fire has extinguished a single family dwelling structure fire on Beacon Ave West. Extensive damage but no injuries, thank @CSaanichFire @dns_fire @SidneyRCMP Beacon Ave West is currently closed to all traffic. @yyjnews pic.twitter.com/L78MPBGPRx
— SidneyVFire (@SidneyVFire) November 24, 2019
Not one, but two GoFundMe pages are currently raising money for the family to help this “wonderful family start from scratch, cover any wage loss and ensure Christmas can be celebrated,” writes Sheri Swan, one of the pages’ organizers.
It is not clear yet what caused the fire, but Swan’s account of the incident tells the story of a narrow escape.
“After hearing a loud bang in [the] garage, Janine realized a fire had started,” said Swan. “[She] grabbed her five-year-old daughter, Georgia, and ran out the side door of the house. Moments later Bob arrived home to see his wife and daughter safe but their family home in flames.”
The Sidney Volunteer Fire Department, Central Saanich Fire, and North Saanich Fire responded to the home, a modest bungalow on Beacon Avenue West on the other side of Highway 17 near the Victoria International Airport. According to Swan, Sidney firefighters could see the flames from the nearby Community Safety Building.
“By the time they arrived and were able to contain the fire it was quickly determined that anything that wasn’t burnt was either ruined by water damage or smoke damage,” she said.
Swan describes the family as close-knit and loving.
“The love that these two have for each other and to their daughter is truly amazing,” she said.
Local residents are also soliciting donations of every kind especially clothing for Georgia.
The Peninsula News Review has reached out to Sidney Volunteer Fire Department and will update the story accordingly.
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