A GoFundMe account has been started to help a family that lost their home on Dec. 21 in fire at Riva Ridge mobile home park. Skylar Noe-Vack photo

Updated: Mother and son lost everything in Riva Ridge mobile home fire

GoFundMe started for Penticton family who lost home Friday

After a fire destroyed a home in the Riva Ridge mobile home park near Penticton on Dec. 21, a daughter is trying to help her mother out with a GoFundMe drive.

Related: Mobile home burns in Riva Ridge

Jenny Rowlands says they were lucky her mother, Charlotte, wasn’t home at the time, recovering from a previous surgery in hospital. Her brother Johnny, however, was home and had to be airlifted to the burn unit at Vancouver General Hospital with third-degree burns on his arms and stomach.

One of their two cats died in the fire, and the other is still missing.

“I’m taking it literally hour by hour,” said Rowlands in a phone interview with the Western News Sunday, adding that she is getting over the shock. “Reality is finally setting in.”

Rowlands expects her brother will be hospitalized for a few weeks, and her mother is in the hospital for a few more days.

“They sent him up to the Intensive Care Unit because he was having breathing problems. He’s kind of sedated right now.”

Rowlands was told her brother’s burns should heal on their own, and they don’t think he is going to need skin grafts. She’s been told her mother is also under medication in the hospital as she recovers from surgery.

“It’s tough, obviously, being away knowing that she’s not really fully knowing what’s going on because she’s in the hospital herself,” said Rowlands. “My concern right now is being here for my brother. And then I’ll have to go down to see my mom.

“But my dad is flying in right now. So he will be heading there tomorrow (Monday).”

Rowlands said her mother has no house insurance, and along with her brother, lost everything in the fire.

“I am looking for support to help her relocate and start her life over again once she is released from the hospital on or near Christmas Day,” wrote Rowlands. “My mother was always a giver and thoughtful when anyone was ever in need. Please open your heart and help my mother in a time of need. I’m so thankful my family is alive. Everything else is replaceable.”

Rowlands has received a few messages from people in the community asking how to donate physical items and gift cards. Any help is welcome, she said.

“I don’t actually even really know where to start. My aunt has told me that social services and the Red Cross are supposed to be stepping in, but we don’t really know to what extent,” said Rowlands.

Those wishing to donate can do so through their GoFundMe page at gofundme.com/charlotte-and-johnny-rowlands-house-fire-recovery.


Steve Kidd
Senior reporter, Penticton Western News
Email me or message me on Facebook
Follow us on Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Just Posted

Grey, damp, warm week ahead in Okanagan, Shuswap, Columbia

Environment Canada calling for clouds and showers, and warm temperatures, throughout the area

‘If we do nothing, the herd will certainly be extirpated’: Caribou maternity pen proposed in Nakusp

The Arrow Lakes Caribou Society is waiting for a response from the province

Revelstoke roads and weather: avalanche control planned today

Highway 1 west of Revelstoke will be closed intermittently for avalanche control

Advance voting in 2019 federal election begins

Voting at advance polling stations has become a popular choice in Canada over the years

B.C.’s rural paramedic program expands, with home support

Advanced care ambulance staff added for six communities

Shuswap ski area vies for $250,000 as top-four finalist in national contest

Help needed to accumulate votes or ‘clicks’ Friday, Oct. 18 through Sunday for trail lighting project

BC Ferries sees steady traffic of post-Thanksgiving weekend travellers

Ferries filling up fast, sailing waits at some terminals

‘Save the kids!’ Dorian survivor tells the harrowing story of his Canadian wife’s death

Family held a funeral and placed Alishia Liolli’s remains in a niche at a cemetery in Windsor, Ont.

Okanagan woman, 91, votes at advance polls despite broken hip, shoulder and wrist

Angela Maynard has voted in almost every election during her lifetime

Heiltsuk Nation open first Big House in 120 years in northern B.C.

Opening means the community now has an appropriate space for spiritual and ceremonial events

Singh says NDP would form coalition with the Liberals to stop Tories

Singh was in a Liberal-held riding Sunday afternoon in Surrey where he was pressed about his post-election intentions

‘My heart goes out to the mother’: B.C. dad reacts to stabbing death of Ontario boy

Carson Crimeni, who was also 14, was bullied relentlessly, his dad says

BC Ferries filling up fast with post-Thanksgiving weekend travellers

Monday anticipated to be busiest day of the weekend

Most Read