Les and Colleen Harris, who moved to the Tatlayoko Valley in the late 1960s, lost their home to a fire early Sunday morning. (Photo submitted)

Longtime Tatlayoko Valley residents lose home to fire Sunday morning

They moved out here with their six kids and their little station wagon and setup a ranch.

A longtime, beloved Tatlayoko Valley family lost their home to fire in the early morning hours Sunday.

Les, 84, and Colleen Harris, 79, who moved to the Tatlayoko Valley in 1968 from Michigan to start the Circle X Ranch, awoke to an electrical fire in their home at roughly 4 a.m. Dec. 1.

“Everybody’s alright,” said one of their 16 grandchildren, Katrina Beauchamp, who grew up in Williams Lake and the Tatlayoko Valley but now lives in Nelson.

“Everyone was up and dressed and my grandma was able to grab my grandpa’s medication and get him out of there, and the dogs, but nothing is left. The house was built in the 60s or 70s and had two fireplaces — one on each end — and one of the fireplaces wasn’t working so they had electric heaters going and I guess one was faulty and took the wall.”

Les and Colleen have been married for 65 years and, with their six children, 16 grandchildren and five great grandchildren having called the Harris home a pivotal, family landmark for the past 51 years, the family has now lost many cherished keepsakes and memories inside its walls due to the fire.

“They moved out here with their six kids and their little station wagon and setup a ranch. We all had many visits there as kids and they’re in shock,” Beauchamp said.

READ MORE: The Homathko River Inn

Beauchamp has setup a GoFundMe for her grandparents, and added a list of needed supplies and items is still being worked on.

“Les and Colleen have been the backbone of the community … salt of the Earth people,” one of the GoFundMe comments reads as, already, upwards of $4,000 of a $50,000 goal has been raised.

Les and Colleen are now staying with their daughter, Connie Bracewell — owner of the Homathko River Inn — who penned a thank you letter to the community in the early hours after the fire.

It reads:

Thank you to everyone. Wow, what a community we have. My parents are going to be staying with us for the season. So what dad will need will be clothes.

Dad needs a lift chair. I was going to look into The Brick to see what they have.

They are in terrible shock, of course.

Dad wants pictures of his parents replaced.

Mom being an only child, never meeting her mom, has no one to get a hold of. So that will take some time to locate someone who can help me with locating pics of her family.

Their dogs are doing well.

They love the phone calls today.

Thank you from them and from Rudy and I and our families.

The GoFundMe page can be reached at this link.



sports@wltribune.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

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

 

Les and Colleen Harris, who moved to the Tatlayoko Valley in the late 1960s, lost their home to a fire early Sunday morning. (Photo submitted)

Just Posted

LETTERS: Gas prices alone enough to keep you warm during cold snap

If you look at your Fortis gas bill Gord McAuley says your anger should warm you right up

IH requests funding support from CCRHD for Williams Lake and 100 Mile House

$1.355,420 request would support projects at CMH, OMH and Fischer Place

$10,000 for Gold Rush Trails marketing video and Billie Bouchie Day celebrations

‘We were very impressed by the calibre of both projects’

Walmart pharmacy offering free blood pressure and glucose screening tests Saturday

From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Walmart pharmacists will be answering lakecity’s health realated questions

Williams Lake Spinners, Weavers and Fibre Artists to host knitting event Saturday

Knitting group meeting Saturday, Jan. 18 at the arts centres in Williams Lake

Kids across Canada more at risk of hospitalization from flu this season: doctor

Dr. Theresa Tam said influenza B does not usually peak until February or later

Closed mills, housing surge support a positive forecast for lumber industries

B.C. lumber producers have closed mills accounting for 18% of province’s capacity, RBC report says

Good Samaritan pays part of rent for B.C. woman facing eviction in can-collecting dispute

Zora Hlevnjak, 76, supplements her pension by collecting cans and receiving public donations

Kelowna’s ‘Baby Mary’ finds biological parents after more than 30 years

Geneologist and DNA test helped her connect with her biological parents

Kelowna hotel to award couples for baby-making with Nooner deal

The deal includes a free stay every Valentine’s Day for the next 18 years

‘Scariest boat ride of my life’: Passengers trapped by ice on rocky B.C. ferry sailing

The Nimpkish docked in Bella Coola on Jan.12 coated in a thick layer of ice

B.C. pair ordered to pay $55,000 for oil tank discovered four years after selling home

Judge says defendants breached contract, despite being unaware of tank until basement flooded

Canada to give $25,000 to families of each Canadian who died in Iran plane crash

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also made it clear that Canada still expects Iran to compensate victims

Oil and gas industry applauds top court’s dismissal of B.C.’s Trans Mountain case

The high court’s ruling Thursday removes one of the remaining obstacles for the project

Most Read