UPDATE: Donations are being accepted to support a 100 Mile House family who lost their home in a fire Friday night.
Andrew Schmah and Kaitlin Todd, owners of 100 Mile Tattoo, escaped Friday night’s blaze on Scott Road with their two children and one of their dogs. However, the family lost everything else in the blaze including their other dog, their iPads and several pieces of key tattoo equipment that were being stored in the house.
Schmah and Todd have started a Go-Fund-Me to raise $6,000 to help get them back onto their feet. Schmah wrote that he hates to ask for help but that his family needs it.
“I have no idea where to start or how to get back on our feet without asking for help now,” Schmah said. “The least I could ever ask for is to get back to work. This (Go-Fund-Me) would cover one set up for us to get started and back on our feet.”
Schmah said that the cause of the fire was electrical and that it started outside on the patio Friday night. By the time his eldest son noticed the fire, he said it was too late for them to grab anything. He yelled for Todd and together they evacuated their children and their dog Lily from the house.
Despite the rapid pace of the flames, Schmah said he ran back inside to try and rescue his family’s other dog, Xena. He found her hiding in a closet and was almost able to get her out but wrote he nearly passed out due to the smoke.
“The sensory overload was so huge I felt like everything was on mute on the TV. Xena was freaking out and I couldn’t hold her, she ran back into the smoke and deeper into the house somewhere. I had to get out before I blacked out,” Schmah said. “Debris was falling, I had my arms stretched out trying to find the patio door everything was hot on fire or melted.”
After finding the door Schmah stumbled out and was treated by B.C. Ambulance for smoke inhalation. 100 Mile Fire Rescue arrived and was able to contain the fire to the home but the family lost everything. Xena’s body was later found by firefighters and the family planned to bury her Saturday.
The Go-Fund-Me can be found at gofundme.com/f/andrew-kaitlins-house-fire-fundraiser. As of Saturday, Sept. 30 the Go-Fund-Me has already raised over $8,000.
ORIGINAL STORY: A home on Scott Road burned to the ground late Friday night.
100 Mile Fire Rescue responded to the fire at 8:32 p.m. on Sep. 29 finding the home fully engulfed upon arrival. Fire chief Dave Bissat said fire crews quickly worked to establish a wet line around the property to protect neighbouring homes as members of the 100 Mile House RCMP secured the scene and evacuated nearby homes.
“At this time (9 p.m.) we’re just working on putting the fire out,” Bissat said. “We don’t know the cause.”
Bissat confirmed that the occupants of the house, a family of four, all escaped the fire unharmed. However, several pets did not escape the blaze and perished. One of the home’s occupants was transported to the 100 Mile District General Hospital to be treated for smoke inhalation.
Witnesses at the scene said the fire engulfed the house quickly and that several loud bangs came from the structure as it burned. When asked why the fire seemed to have spread so quickly, Bissat said the department won’t know until the fire is fully extinguished and an investigation has been completed.
As of 9:30 p.m. the fire had largely been knocked down leaving the home, across from Big Country Lanes, reduced to its frame. Bissat said B.C. Hydro and Fortis ensured all utilities to the home were shut off.
Fire crews remained on scene until 3:30 a.m. Saturday morning to ensure the fire was out. Both 100 Mile Fire Rescue and the RCMP are investigating the fire’s cause.