‘I’ve got great survival instinct’: Big Eddy fire victim draws on past trauma for strength

At 3:30 p.m. on Oct. 14, firefighters arrived to find the trailer near Griffiths Road in the Big Eddy engulfed in flames. They were on site for three hours, extinguishing and overhauling the fire. (Liam Harrap/Revelstoke Review)
It wasn’t the first time Jean-Yves Trahan has had a traumatic experience with fire. (Liam Harrap/Revelstoke Review)
Trahan managed to escape the fire with just the clothes on his back, vehicle and burns to his nose. Since then, many people from the community have donated clothes and other items. (Liam Harrap/Revelstoke Review)
A friend donated a camper for Trahan to live in the meantime, while he determines what to do next. The camper is parked in the driveway of his former home. (Liam Harrap/Revelstoke Review)
Neighbours to the property said the fire burned through overhead power lines and caused paint on nearby trucks to bubble and their tail lights to melt. (Liam Harrap/Revelstoke Review)
The Revelstoke Fire Department said they are still investigating the cause of the fire. (Liam Harrap/Revelstoke Review)
Trahan said some personal items can never be replaced, such as his Indiana Jones hat and ski pants from his ski patroller days 15-years-ago. (Liam Harrap/Revelstoke Review)

Losing his home in a fire in the Big Eddy earlier this month wasn’t the first time Jean-Yves Trahan has had a traumatic experience with fire.

On Thanksgiving Day, his mobile home off Griffiths Road burned to the ground.

Trahan said he is still pretty shaken from the ordeal and remembers little of what happened or the few days that followed.

“I’m still psychologically recovering.”

At 3:30 p.m. on Oct. 14, firefighters arrived to find the trailer engulfed in flames. They were on site for three hours, extinguishing and overhauling the fire.

READ MORE: Revelstoke Fire Rescue Services douse house fire in the Big Eddy

Neighbours to the property said the fire burned through overhead power lines and caused paint on nearby trucks to bubble and their tail lights to melt.

Trahan managed to escape the fire with just the clothes on his back, vehicle and burns to his nose. Since then, many people from the community have donated clothes and other items.

Regardless, Trahan said some personal items can never be replaced, such as his Indiana Jones hat and ski pants from his ski patroller days 15-years-ago.

A friend donated a camper for Trahan to live in the meantime, while he determines what to do next. The camper is parked in the driveway of his former home, underneath a blackened tree house. Trahan said he’s undecided if he will rebuild. There was no insurance on his home.

Ten years ago, Trahan was at welding school. Once while welding, the material splattered and Trahan caught fire. The injuries were so extensive, they required skin grafts. Regardless, he still managed to finish school, graduate and find work welding.

“I had bad flash backs for four years.”

Trahan said he is using the same principles of courage and strength he learned from that experience and applying it to now.

“I’ve got great survival instinct.”

Nicholas Caron, owner of Nico’s Pizzeria, has known Trahan since they snowboarded together at Whistlers 24-years-ago, when Trahan was a professional photographer. When Trahan moved to Revelstoke, Caron gave him a job delivering pizza.

To help his buddy, Caron has set up a gofundme page.

“We are fundraising to help him with getting back on his feet and help with the costs of debris removal, and rent money,” the page reads.

Created on Oct. 17, as of Oct. 29 been $1,040 in donations.

READ MORE: Gofundme page started for Revelstokian who lost home in fire

Donations can also be dropped off at Nico’s Pizzeria.

Trahan said he is touched by all the kindness he has received from the people of Revelstoke.

“I have no doubt I’ll get back on my feet. And I’ll do it in a hurry.”

The Revelstoke Fire Department said they are still investigating the cause of the fire.


 

@pointypeak701
liam.harrap@revelstokereview.com

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