The Heal family of Oliver lost everything, including their home, when their furnace caught fire on June 7, 2021. (Oliver Fire Department)

The Heal family of Oliver lost everything, including their home, when their furnace caught fire on June 7, 2021. (Oliver Fire Department)

Oliver community rallies around family who lost everything in fire

Bbq fundraiser being held Saturday, June 12 at the Buy Low Foods

A barbecue fundraiser is being held at the Oliver Buy-Low Foods this Saturday, June 9 for one of their own who lost his home and everything inside from a devastating fire on June 7.

The blaze consumed the Heal family residence on Yarrow Street, resulting in a complete loss of all their belongings and memories.

According to the Oliver fire department, the blaze started in the furnace which was located in the basement.

“The homeowner did try to put out the fire but was unable to,” said Rob Graham, of the Oliver Fire Department.

Graham went on to say the homeowner was sent to hospital by ambulance to be checked out but was later released.

The very old house was insulated with wood shavings which fueled the fire. On top of that, the metal roof held in the heat and made it very difficult to get water into the attic.

“Unfortunately, we had to take an excavator to the front entrance area to get at the fire,” said Graham.

Oliver fire crews had two pumpers, two water tenders, a bush truck and a commander vehicle along with around 25 firefighters battling the blaze.

Osoyoos fire department was on standby if there were other fires to go to in the area.

“Unfortunately, despite best efforts, due to the construction of the building and the fuel load inside, we were unable to extinguish the fire in a timely manner.”

A couple and their son lived in the home. The son works at Buy Low.

Now the community is rallying around the family.

A GoFundMe page has been started and already over $1,000 has been raised of the $5,000 goal.

There will also be a hot dog/bbq fundraiser at the Oliver Buy-Low Foods location on Saturday June 19 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Cash donations are also being accepted inside the store.

READ MORE: Oliver family loses home to fire

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