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

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Out of the shadows: Illuminating Revelstoke’s overdose crisis

The city has one of the highest illicit drug death rates per capita in B.C.

Two new COVID-19 cases announced in Interior Health region

The total number of cases in the region is at 533

More wildfire smoke to fill the Okanagan

The smoke is coming from wildfires in California but is expected to be much lighter

City surveying seniors for problems in Revelstoke

The survey is available between Sept. 28 and Oct. 23

Revelstoke source of clue on Jeopardy

The prompt challenged knowledge of both art and wildlife in the area

B.C. counts 125 new COVID-19 cases, up to 1,284 active

No new deaths or health care facility outbreaks

Lessons from a pandemic: How to design a nursing home that’s safe and love-filled

A look at how one care home is battling the pandemic with the social needs of the elderly in their care

Winter tires, chains now mandatory along most B.C. highways

Drivers without the proper winter tires – which must also be in good condition – can be fined $109

Documentary to celebrate the Shuswap’s music scene

Local initiative to feature several of the region’s artists

Guns seized in relation to southeast Kelowna murder investigation

RCMP seized several firearms from a West Kelowna home on Tuesday

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Health Canada green-lights rapid COVID-19 test

Health Canada approved the BCube test from Hyris Ltd. in the United Kingdom Sept. 23

First Nations Health Authority chief medical officer concerned with rising COVID-19 cases

“There’s still so much we don’t know and we’re learning everyday about this particular virus.”

FINLAYSON: COVID-related job losses concentrated in urban areas… especially Metro Vancouver

The biggest job losses, in absolute terms, have been in Metro Vancouver

Most Read