Dave Oger (left) continues to fight the fire in Fort McMurray

Dave Oger (left) continues to fight the fire in Fort McMurray

Fort McMurray fire evacuation separates a family

Dave and Jennifer Oger were separated from each other, from their children and their dogs during the evacuation of Fort McMurray.

Williams Lake residents Ruth and Randy Hoehne’s good friends friends Dave and Jennifer Oger were separated from their children and their three dogs during the evacuation from the wild fire ripping through Fort McMurray Tuesday.

Dave is a firefighter and Jennifer works in X-ray at the Fort McMurray hospital.

When the hospital was evacuated Jennifer was sent north to a mining camp.

Dave was at home with their two young boys when he got the call to come and fight the fire.

He left their three dogs at home and took the boys to stay with a neighbour friend and headed out to fight the fire.

Shortly after that the Saprae Creek subdivision where they lived was evacuated and the neighbour headed to Edmonton with her children and the Oger children.

Still fighting the fire Dave couldn’t get back home to pick up their dogs so he put out a call for anyone nearby to please rescue them.

A friend went to the house and was able to rescue two of the dogs but the third dog ran away.

Late that night Dave was able to take a break and go home to see if he could find their other dog. Fortunately he found the dog hiding in the house and was able to take it to safety.

Meanwhile Jennifer was able to get a ride with her brother from the mining camp  to Edmonton where she picked up their two boys, Alexander, 5, and Ethan, 2.

As they arrived in Edmonton, Jennifer learned that their house had burned to the ground but that her husband and dogs were all safe.

“The hardest part was telling Alexander that our house had burned down,” Jennifer told the Tribune/Weekend Advisor in an email from Ottawa.

“He looked at me with tears in his eyes and said: ‘What about my blue blankie and my toys?'”

“Luckily when Dave went back to the house to look for our missing dog I told him to grab Alexander’s blankie and he did.  It was pure joy watching Alexander’s face when I told him the news.

“Dave also told me how he saw Alexander’s little boots sitting by the untouched trampoline as he tried to keep back the tears.

While Dave continues to fight the fire, Jennifer’s plans are to fly on to Newfoundland to stay with her parents.

While Jennifer is also five months pregnant, she is prepared to return to Fort McMurray hospital if the hospital re-opens and she is needed. Her parents have agreed to take care of the boys.

But as things look now, Jennifer may be starting her maternity leave early.

Jennifer said WestJet employees treated them wonderfully on the plane ride east.

At one point the attendants asked other passengers if they might have a spare pair of shoes for one of their sons who fled the fire with only one shoe on.

“We have been apart since Tuesday morning and it’s not looking like we will be together anytime soon as Dave states he will be going South to help out there when everything is taken care of in Fort McMurray.

“We are so blessed to have so many people around us.  Please continue to pray for Dave and the rest of the fire fighters.”


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A detour via Mission Road is in place Sunday, Feb. 28 due to a vehicle incident. (Anna Fait photo)
Highway 97 closed south of Williams Lake Sunday morning, detour in place

Overnight, Williams Lake saw six centimetres of snowfall, according to Environment Canada

Researchers in B.C. say earlier than usual return of bats or dead bats can indicate trouble, such as signs of white-nose syndrome. (Cathy Koot photo)
Public help is essential for monitoring for bat disease

Anyone finding a dead bat is asked to report it to the BC Community Bat Program

Sandi Griffiths is the region’s new district manager of transportation for the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
New MOTI district manager takes the wheel in Williams Lake

Sandi Griffiths replaces Todd Hubner who retired recently

Mclean Silverton rides a rail in Boitanio Park - one of seven new features installed by the city this past week. (Greg Sabatino photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Snow park in Boitanio open for riding

If any users find that the park requires attention, please contact city hall at 250-392-2311

A snowfall warning has been issued for Williams Lake and Quesnel. (Black Press Media)
Snowfall warning issued for Cariboo region

Between 10 to 15 cm expected

Abbotsford’s Kris Collins turned to TikTok out of boredom when the provincial COVID-19 lockdown began in March 2020. She now has over 23 million followers on the video app. Photo: Submitted
Internet famous: Abbotsford’s Kris Collins is a TikTok comedy queen

Collins has found surprise stardom alone with a phone

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver on Tuesday December 11, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C.’s compromise on in-person worship at three churches called ‘absolutely unacceptable’

Would allow outdoor services of 25 or less by Langley, Abbotsford and Chilliwack churches

Baldy Mountain Resort was shut down on Saturday after a fatal workplace accident. (Baldy Mountain picture)
Jasmine and Gwen Donaldson are part of the CAT team working to reduce stigma for marginalized groups in Campbell River. Photo by Marc Kitteringham, Campbell River Mirror
Jasmine’s story: Stigma can be the hardest hurdle for those overcoming addiction

Recovering B.C. addict says welcome, connection and community key for rebuilding after drug habit

A Vancouver restaurant owner was found guilty of violating B.C.’s Human Rights Code by discriminating against customers on the basis of their race. (Pixabay)
Vancouver restaurant owner ordered to pay $4,000 to customers after racist remark

Referring to patrons as ‘you Arabs’ constitutes discrimination under B.C.’s Human Rights Code, ruling deems

Nanaimo children’s author and illustrator Lindsay Ford’s latest book is ‘Science Girl.’ (Photo courtesy Lindsay Ford)
B.C. children’s writer encourages girls to pursue the sciences in new book

Lindsay Ford is holding a virtual launch for latest book, ‘Science Girl’

Pig races at the 145th annual Chilliwack Fair on Aug. 12, 2017. Monday, March 1, 2021 is Pig Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Feb. 28 to March 6

Pig Day, Canadian Bacon Day and Grammar Day are all coming up this week

Staff from the Marine Mammal Rescue Centre, passersby, RCMP and Nanaimo Fire Rescue carried a sick 300-kilogram steller sea lion up the steep bluff at Invermere Beach in north Nanaimo in an attempt to save the animal’s life Thursday. (Photo courtesy Marine Mammal Rescue Centre)
300-kilogram sea lion muscled up from B.C. beach in rescue attempt

Animal dies despite efforts of Nanaimo marine mammal rescue team, emergency personnel and bystanders

Most Read