Mario Bafaro said he awoke in the middle of the night to what sounded like firecrackers on his porch. He went to investigate and discovered his wooden deck ablaze.
He went outside to try and put it out, but it was too late – everything was on fire.
“It all just went up.”
Bafaro said he tried to get back into his home to save his two dogs, but the smoke and flames drove him back outside. The animals — Bella and Isabella — died in the blaze.
“Losing your best friends is a very hard thing.”
|Mario Bafaro is still in need of longterm accommodation. (Liam Harrap – Revelstoke Review)|
Except for the pair of shorts he was wearing, Bafaro lost everything. He was in the process of selling his home in the Big Eddy before it was destroyed by fire on April 25, and he didn’t have insurance.
After the blaze, a gofundme was set up for Bafaro, which raised more than $6,000.
“I didn’t know I had so many friends.”
Bafaro said he is very thankful to the staff at the Best Western and Ford, who provided accommodation and fixed his fire-damaged vehicle for free.
“I am really appreciative of all the help. Without it, I don’t know what I’d do.”
While Bafaro is still looking for a new home, he is hopeful. Regardless, finding affordable accommodation is hard, especially as Bafaro is on disability payments.
There has been an increase in fires this year, according to the Revelstoke fire department. Since January, there have been eight blazes, three of which were structure fires. During the same period last year, there were three fires and only one structure blaze. Between January and April in 2019, there were six fires, none of which were structure blazes.
Fire Chief Steven DeRousie said the recent increase is likely due to more people staying home from COVID-19 restrictions.
DeRousie said the cause of fire on Bafaro’s home has not been determined; however, foul play is not suspected.
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