Nelson Star

UPDATED: Family loses home in Blewett blaze

Several fire trucks were on the scene of a house fire in Blewett Tuesday afternoon. - Kirsten Hildebrand photo
Several fire trucks were on the scene of a house fire in Blewett Tuesday afternoon.
— image credit: Kirsten Hildebrand photo

A Blewett family lost their home to fire Tuesday afternoon.

The fire started mid afternoon at a house on Cazakoff Road with the call coming into Blewett fire service at 3:45 p.m. Emergency response included six pieces of equipment and 24 firefighters.

Help to the Blewett crew came from the Beasley department with personnel on the scene into the evening trying to put out the blaze. They left the sight at 10:30 p.m.

Paul Verigin, chief of the Blewett Fire Department says they don’t know how the fire started and that an investigation is underway.

With several trees, out shelters and neighbours’ homes close by, firefighters worked hard to contain the blaze. Verigin says it could have been worse.

“There were no incidents and there were no fatalities, nobody got hurt,” he says.

Bill and Tammy Lusted shared their home with four children: Willow (18), Reo (17), Ivery (14)and Eli (12). They also have several animals including six dogs and several cats as well as chickens and horses. One dog was lost in the fire as well as some smaller pets. The family rescued dogs in Mexico and after rehabilitating them, adopted them out to new owners.

A family friend who is in touch with the Lusteds relays what happened as fire broke out: Tammy started seeing smoke and found flames coming from an outlet in her son’s room. By the time she reached the fire extinguisher, the blaze was too much to contain. Then, she started trying to rescue pets.

Tammy suffered from smoke inhalation from her time in her burning home.

The children were just coming home from school as the fire was engulfing the house, says the friend. They lost their Christmas presents and a grad dress.

The community of Blewett and beyond is already organizing to help the family in need. Describing the Lusteds as an outgoing crew who is very family orientated, the friend says they are amazing people.

“They’d give you the shirt off their back,” she says. “Now it’s time for them to get it back tenfold.”

On Facebook a group has been started called “Amazing community of Blewett comes together.” It can be found at facebook.com/groups/461122267275026/.

The group has over 600 members and contains up-to-date information about what the family needs most as they rebuild their lives.

“They are very overwhelmed by the situation and the help that’s coming in,” says the friend.

So far, the family is in need of those very basic things like clothing and toiletries. Their wallets including identification were destroyed so cash is very helpful.

At this point, they need a place to stay that will allow their dogs as Tammy doesn’t want to be apart from them, says the friend.

“She just wants a place where they can all be together,” she says of the family currently staying in a local hotel.

Drop off points for donations include Ramp Body and Fender, Vogue Studio on Baker Street, Eagle Creek Guest House in Blewett and Taghum Shell. It’s also possible to donate online at lusteddonation@hotmail.com.

 

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