Ruth Hoehne with a text photo of a family friend fighting the Fort McMurray fire while his wife and children were being evacuated from the area in different directions and the fate of their three dogs was still in question.

Ruth Hoehne with a text photo of a family friend fighting the Fort McMurray fire while his wife and children were being evacuated from the area in different directions and the fate of their three dogs was still in question.

Hoehnes worried about family and friends in Fort McMurray

Ruth Hoehne has hardly slept since Tuesday afternoon when a neighbour happened to ask her how her sisters in Fort McMurray were doing.

Ruth Hoehne has hardly slept a wink since Tuesday afternoon when a neighbour happened to ask her how her sisters in Fort McMurray were doing.

Until that moment she didn’t have a clue that fire was ripping through the community that she called home for 23 years.

She was busy gardening and bird watching, not watching television.

But since Tuesday Ruth has been glued to the television and her cell phone trying to make sure her family and friends are safe.

Ruth and her husband, Randy, are relative newcomers to the lakecity from Fort McMurray where Randy was born and they raised their daughters Samantha and Jessica.

Randy moved to Williams Lake four years ago to work for Gibraltar Mine and Ruth joined him a year later with their daughters.

While Randy doesn’t have any family living in Fort McMurray today, Ruth says at least 60 of her close and extended family members live in and around the city, including two sisters and a brother, and their children and grandchildren.

As of Friday evening Ruth was able to confirm that her sisters, brother and their families were safe, but so far as they know her nephew, Josh, and his family and another couple close to her family have lost their homes to the fire.

Many of Ruth’s family members and friends are staying with another sister in Boyle, a small town three hours south of Fort McMurray.

“They just said our doors are open and let everyone come in,” Ruth said.

Other family members have made it to Edmonton and as far away as Ottawa and Newfoundland.

She said one sister travelling with her daughter and grandchildren was among the escapees who ran out of gas 50 miles out of Fort McMurray, but fortunately they were able to park the car by the road and climb into her husband’s truck that was following them.

“Please keep our first responders and people of Fort McMurray in your prayers and please donate to the Red Cross,” Ruth said as she shares some of the stories and pictures coming to her cell phone from family and friends about their harrowing escapes.

Ruth said her nephew Tyler Fawcett was interviewed on CBC and by a media outlet in Istanbul, Turkey about the escape he made with his wife Flaxee.

Tyler and Flaxee have been married just over a year, so Ruth said Flaxee took her wedding dress, wedding photos, their dog and some water with her when she left their house to pick up Tyler who was standed downtown. Part way there she said Flaxee had to abandon the vehicle, her wedding dress and photos, and run 12 blocks with their dog and some water to meet up with Tyler who had found another ride out with his sister and family.

Ruth was also moved by the story of how her good friends Dave Oger, a fire fighter,  and his wife Jennifer, an X-ray technician at the hospital were separated from each other, their children, and their three dogs during the evacuation.

The Fawcett and Oger stories will follow in separate articles.

 

 

Just Posted

Lorne Doerkson is the Liberal MLA for the Cariboo-Chilcotin. (Black Press Media file photos)
MLA’s CORNER: Mining month in B.C.

Mining Month 2021 gives us the opportunity to learn more about how the industry is changing

Williams Lake Farmers’ Market manager Barb Scharf said Friday, May 7, she was glad to have everyone back for another season. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Farmers’ market season underway in Williams Lake

The Friday market goes from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Lake City Secondary School Grade 7 Outdoor Education students Geordi Wonnacott (from left), Brody Brook, James Wilker, Ali Calabrese and Kaitlyn Brown explore a burned area at the top end of the trails at Bull Mountain Ski Area last year as part of the Williams Lake Cross Country Ski Club’s ski school program. (Martin Kruus photo)
Ski school glides to successful year at Bull Mountain

Avah Akeson, also in grade seven, said that just having the opportunity to ski was really fun

Staff-Sgt. Svend Nielsen, with the 100 Mile House RCMP. (Melissa Smalley - 100 Mile Free Press)
14-year-old boy killed in serious ATV crash near 100 Mile House

Youth was travelling with a group of peers when the incident occurred Friday

100 Mile RCMP dealing with serious accident at Highway 97 near 103 Mile (file photo)
Man, in distress, arrested after altercation with RCMP members in Lone Butte

The man is currently at the hospital with no pending charges

Daily confirmed COVID-19 cases reported to B.C. public health, seven-day rolling average in white, to May 12, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C. preparing ‘Restart 2.0’ from COVID-19 as June approaches

Daily infections fall below 500 Friday, down to 387 in hospital

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

The first Black judge named to the BC Supreme Court, Selwyn Romilly, was handcuffed at 9:15 a.m. May 14 while walking along the seawall. (YouTube/Screen grab)
Police apologize after wrongly arresting B.C.’s first Black Supreme Court Justice

At 81 years old, the retired judge was handcuffed in public while out for a walk Friday morning

Dr. Steve Beerman, of Nanaimo, shows off his Dr. David Bishop Gold Medal, awarded for distinguished medical service. (Karl Yu/News Bulletin)
Queen presents Vancouver Island doctor with award for global drowning prevention

Dr. Steve Beerman receives Royal Life Saving Society’s King Edward VII Cup at virtual ceremony

Former UFV Cascades wrestling coach Arjan Singh Bhullar is now the ONE heavyweight champion after defeating Brandon Vera via TKO in round two on Saturday in Singapore. (ONE Championship)
Former UFV wrestling coach wins MMA championship

Arjan Singh Bhullar captures ONE heavyweight title, first Indian origin fighter to achieve honour

Astra Zeneca vaccine waits for injection in a Feb. 3, 2021 file photo. A Langley man has become the second B.C. resident to suffer a blood clot following an injection. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)
B.C. man required emergency surgery after AstraZeneca vaccination

Shaun Mulldoon suffered ‘massive blood clot’ after jab

Chilliwack’s Kile Brown, performing as drag queen Hailey Adler, dances and lip syncs in front of hundreds of people during the inaugural Chilliwack Pride Barbecue at the Neighbourhood Learning Centre on Aug. 24, 2019. Monday, May 17 is International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of May 16 to 22

International Day Against Homophobia, Talk Like Yoda Day, Sea Monkey Day all coming up this week

Bradley Priestap in an undated photo provided to the media some time in 2012 by the London Police Service.
Serial sex-offender acquitted of duct tape possession in B.C. provincial court

Ontario sex offender on long-term supervision order was found with one of many ‘rape kit’ items

Most Read