A Riske Creek family is picking up the pieces after their home on Stack Valley Road was completely destroyed by fire last Thursday evening.
Charlene Green said she was at home with their teenagers Matt and Kaitlin when a fire started from a propane barbecue on the back deck of their mobile home at around 7:30 p.m.
“It went super fast,” Charlene said of the fire. “I tried to put it out with a hose but as soon as the fire hit the electrical, the water pump stopped the water pressure.”
Realizing they only had minutes to escape, Charlene and her children focused on getting their pets and themselves out and away from the house.
“It was frantic for sure,” she said. “I grabbed some keys for vehicles and that was it.”
Charlene and her husband Doug had lived in the home for 16 years.
With the fire they have lost so much, including generations of family photographs and guns that were passed on to Doug from his family.
The Greens own Cariboo Chilcotin Jetboat Adventures. One of their boats was parked next to the house and received extensive damage.
“Doug had actually left that morning to attend a tourism marketing symposium,” Charlene said. “He drove back right away as soon as I called him about the fire.”
Since the fire the family has been staying in a travel trailer one of their siblings brought to them so they can remain on the property.
They have a horse, dog, cat and chickens.
To add insult to injury, one of their dogs died the day after the fire.
So far the Greens have received “tons” of help from family and friends who have given them money, food and clothes, Charlene said.
“It’s been really nice actually and so good to have support. We could use some warm clothes though.”
The family does have house insurance and has been meeting with adjustors, but in the meantime they are trying to get water running again before it freezes.
“It looks like winter is coming early, we’ve already been -6 C here,” Charlene said.
The RCMP, BC Ambulance and BC Hydro attended Charlene’s 911 call for help, but there is no fire service for people living in Riske Creek.
“Our kids just went back to school this morning. It seemed really important to just stay together here. It’s only been five days,” she added. “I am so grateful none of us were hurt, but I wouldn’t wish this on anyone.”