Fire levels North Shore family’s home

A family has been left with nothing after a Thursday morning fire east of Nelson destroyed their home.

A family has been left with nothing after a Thursday morning fire east of Nelson destroyed their home.

Jeanine and Harold Koeltgen and their 11-year-old daughter Ava escaped the blaze unharmed, but lost everything in the fire.

“Ava woke up at five past six this morning and she saw a red glow outside her window and sparks flying,” Jeanine Koeltgen’s mother Viola Wierda told the Star. “She woke up her parents and they just had time to run out the door with whatever they were wearing. The house is all gone, it burned very quickly.

“They are lucky they got out.”

The family was also able to escape with their two dogs and a rabbit, but they have not been able to locate their kitten.

The fire took place on Whitewick Road, seven kilometres west of Balfour. The house is believed to be 25 years old and burned to the ground. The Star is still awaiting a return call from the Balfour Volunteer Fire Department.

“They are still in shock really, all of a sudden you have nothing,” Wierda said. “They have had lots of offers of help from the community and that has been really comforting to them.”

The family is insured, but at this point have no place to live. There are initiatives underway to help the family, but firm details have not been nailed down. If you would like to help the family, friends suggest joining the Facebook group at http://on.fb.me/zbuPRq for the latest on ways to help.

Harold Koeltgen works for the City of Nelson and currently drives bus.

 

Just Posted

‘Beauty amongst such tragedy:’ B.C. photographer captures nature’s trifecta

David Luggi’s photo from a beach in Fraser Lake shows Shovel Lake wildfire, Big Dipper and an aurora

Smoke scraps MS Bike Challenge

The annual fundraising event cancelled its cycling Saturday because of poor air quality

Nelson’s mural festival: scenes from opening night

Crowds wandered the streets and alleys finding delightful surprises in unlikely places

Smoky skies force flight cancellations

Air quality in West Kootenay also a health concern

Castlegar bridge designed by architect of collapsed Italian bridge

Riccardo Morandi designed the Kinnaird Bridge, which is part of Highway 3.

‘We will not forget:’ Thousands attend funeral fallen Fredericton officers

Hundreds of officials marched in the parade, which included massed band, several police motorcycles

Lions give up late TD in 24-23 loss to Argos

B.C. falls to 3-5, fumbling away last-minute chance in Toronto

Eagle tree cut down legally a 1st for B.C. city

Planned eagle preserve ‘a first for City of Surrey’

Smoky skies like a disappearing act for sights, monuments around B.C.

Haze expected to last the next several days, Environment Canada said

Canadians react to death of former UN secretary-general Kofi Annan at age 80

Nobel Peace Prize-winning former UN leader died early Saturday following a short illness

44 drownings so far this year in B.C.

Lifesaving Society urging caution to prevent deaths while on lakes, oceans and in pools

Some of B.C.’s air quality levels worse than Jodhpur, India

Okanagan, northern B.C. seeing some of the worst air quality globally

VIDEO: Ground crews keep a close eye on largest B.C. wildfire

Originally estimated to be 79,192 hectares, officials said more accurate mapping shows smaller size

Vancouver Island woman to attempt historic swim across Juan de Fuca Strait today

Ultra-marathon swimmer Susan Simmons to attempt to swim from Victoria to Port Angeles and back

Most Read