The community has responded in a big way to help a family of six left without a home after a fire last Wednesday afternoon at a Crofton trailer park on Cecil Street.
Destiny and Nate Tremblay and their four young children – Benjamin, 5, Maverick, 3, Vincent, coming up to 2 on Valentine’s Day, and Bridget, four months – were not hurt after a mattress caught fire in one of the bedrooms.
Crofton fire chief Matt Ludvigson noted the fire was contained to that one bedroom, but there was significant smoke damage throughout the rest of the residence. The Crofton department responded with two trucks and Chemainus had one of its trucks on the scene.
“We haven’t even been allowed to see if anything’s salvageable,” said Destiny Tremblay.
She still estimates about 80 per cent of their possessions are smoke-damaged.
In the meantime, donations of clothing, food and household items have been pouring in from around Crofton and Chemainus to support the Tremblays.
The family was initially taken in by a neighbour, Christine Christian, until Sunday when they just moved temporarily into a two-bedroom basement suite.
“This family is amazing, truly amazing,” offered Christian. “They have the most beautiful kind kids. We’ve all become so close. They are not used to this much support. But so deserving of it. They cannot say thank you enough.”
Larry Bertram started the ball rolling on Facebook to make the public aware of the family’s plight. That generated the flurry of donations.
“I really think it was a team effort,” Bertram indicated. “I just posted the brief story and a picture of the kids. The people of Crofton did the rest.”
He mentioned Jo Ann Christie and her sister Lu were influential to the cause as well as everyone at the Crofton Fire Hall and the Warmland Community Church.
Destiny Tremblay said she didn’t know Bertram personally, but “he’s given us a couple of gift cards for Walmart.”
Numerous other gift certificate and cash donations have been provided to the family.
Tremblay is overwhelmed with all the generosity.
“It’s definitely cushioned the shock having so much support,” she said. “I thank everybody very much. We were given so much.”
A bin was set up at 1572 Brook St. in Crofton for donations. Tremblay said the family is fine for now with the abundant clothing, in particular, that was donated.
“Anything we don’t use personally, we’re making sure we pay it forward,” she said.
Tremblay suggested some of those unused items will go to places like the free store at Providence Farm in Duncan for others who might need them.
The Tremblays had been renting the trailer they resided in for two years. The landlord was insured, Destiny said, but they did not have renter’s insurance.
The Tremblays were planning to buy it, but will now be seeking other slightly more expensive alternatives.
“We’re going to get back on our feet,” said Destiny. “Our trailer was fairly priced compared to what the rental market is now.”