Gary Bales is the type of person who likes to keep to himself. After losing almost everything he owns in a fire last month, he’s asking the community of Revelstoke for help to get back on his feet.
Bales, 63, was asleep when his home on 19 Mile Road, about 30 kilometres west of Revelstoke, caught fire in the late evening on Friday, Sept. 25.
He woke up quickly and ran outside with almost nothing but the clothes on his back. He watched with a friend as the house was engulfed in 15-metre high flames.
Bales, a tree planter by profession for 35 years, lived in the home for 12 years. A friend was staying with him when the fire started. They both made it out alive, but Bales’ pregnant dog did not; he would breed and sell puppies.
Lost in the fire were many valuables he collected over the years. He said he had a collection of duck carvings, Native carvings, Persian rugs, animal hides, and more.
He also lost his collection of tools, including several chainsaws and a log splitter — big losses for someone who also sold firewood for a living.
Several cars he was planning to fix up and sell were damaged, including a Subaru Outback.
He had no insurance on the house and estimates his losses are more than $100,000.
Fortunately, the firewood he had stocked on the property didn’t ignite. There was also a trailer on the property that emerged unscathed that he is living in now.
Bales is hoping people will donate to an account that was set up by a friend. You can do so online at gofundme.com/da55zv4g or through TD Bank via account #3120164, transit #93600.
You can also buy firewood from him by going out to his home at 19 Mile Road or calling 778-981-0041.