A Sunday night fire at a mobile home on Green Road South has claimed the life of three Sicamous residents.
Daniel Vollans, 28, and his two sons, Devlin, 4, and Lealan, 3, perished in the fire.
Sicamous firefighters responded to the fire about 7 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 1 to find the home fully engulfed.
Kara Wagner, Vollans’ 25-year-old fiancée and mother of the two boys, was working the late shift at the local Tim Hortons at the time of the fire.
Neighbour Trish Munro lives two doors down from the burned-out home. She says at about 7:30 p.m. Sunday, she smelled something burning and went out to investigate.
Neither seeing nor smelling anything unusual, she went back inside her home, coming out a moment later and seeing neighbours standing at the end of her driveway.
“We could see smoke pouring out of the trailer and it seemed like within seconds it just blew up and was on fire,” Munro says, noting the wind had picked up a bit, driving the flames toward nearby trees.
“The mom showed up, she came running down the street crying for her boys,” says Munro, fighting to keep her emotions in check. “I phoned the grandparents to tell them Kara’s house was on fire. They showed up. It was so sad to watch.”
The BC Fire Commissioner’s Office and the B.C. Coroners Service were at the scene of the fire again Tuesday to continue their investigation into the cause of the deadly fire. And Sicamous RCMP continue to provide assistance in the investigation.
“Preliminary findings indicate the fire is not suspicious in nature,” says Sicamous Detachment’s Sgt. Carl Vinet in an RCMP news release.
“The Sicamous RCMP and Victim Services personnel continue to assist the family of the deceased and have expressed our deepest condolences to them for their terrible loss,” said RCMP Cpl. Dan Moskaluk.
Kelly Moores, Sicamous Tim Hortons owner and Kara’s employer, says his employees are in a state of shock.
“Particularly in Sicamous, it’s a real close group, we’re like family,” he says. “We’re dealing with our staff, trying to formulate the support where it will be most effective.”
And help is coming from other quarters as well.
Within hours of the tragedy, longtime friend Brianna LaRoy and Nikki Stelmak were busy organizing a benefit auction to be held at 6 p.m. at the Sicamous Legion Friday, Jan. 20.
“The family has asked for privacy so all I want to do is get the word out (about the fundraiser),” says LaRoy, who has been friends with Wagner since the two were in kindergarten. “The entire town is devastated, everybody’s in mourning. It’s a horrific thing that happened and the entire town is feeling it.
LaRoy says people are responding to calls for help in a very generous way.
“We already have houseboat trips, Shea Weber and Cody Franson hockey jerseys and hotel stays,” she says. “It’s unreal the overwhelming support, and it’s not just Sicamous and Salmon Arm, it’s complete strangers that have seen it on the news or Facebook. They’re stepping up to donate.
Everyone is welcome to attend the Jan. 20 event in Sicamous. For those who would rather make a cash donation, bank accounts have been set up in Wagner’s name at all three branches of the Salmon Arm Savings and Credit Union, any TD Bank or go to the Support Kara Wagner Facebook page and go to the “fundrazr” tab.
Any business or private donor wishing to contribute items for the auction may also do so on the Facebook page, which is being carefully monitored. Items can also be dropped off in Salmon Arm at the Garage Furniture Company.
There has been no word yet on when memorial services will take place.