The family home was severely burned, and the contents lost. (Special to The News)

The family home was severely burned, and the contents lost. (Special to The News)

Online fundraiser for Maple Ridge family victimized by fire

Gofundme to benefit family that were burned out on Valentine’s Day

A Maple Ridge family has been burned out of their home, and on Sunday an online fundraiser was started to help with their short-term financial burden.

Steve and Nancy Rowsell, sons Samuel, 17, and Aaron, eight, and their dog Mellow, were displaced by a devastating early morning fire in their home on Valentines Day at 4 a.m..

Steve related how the family was likely saved from what could have been a worse tragedy by their youngest son’s interest in fire safety, and his making the family go through an emergency preparedness checklist.

READ ALSO: Son, 8, got Maple Ridge family ready for fire emergency

“While this has been an extremely traumatic and frightening experience for them, we are incredibly grateful that everyone got out of the house safely and that no one was injured,” said Kelly Dickinson, Nancy’s sister. “The support from the community has been outstanding and the family is very grateful for the help that they have received so far.”

The damage to their house at the corner of 117th Avenue and Morris Street is extensive, and they have lost everything.

“They are devastated to have lost all that they have worked so hard for over the years,” said Dickinson. “While the furniture, bedding, clothing, toys, books, toiletries and electronics can all be replaced, it’s the loss of the many irreplaceable keepsakes and family photos that is the most heartbreaking loss.”

READ ALSO: Man found dead near Harrison Lake after nine-hour weekend search

She has started a page to help the family financially as they rebuild, noting that Steve, a carpenter, has lost hours of work helping his family deal with the tragedy, which provides an additional burden. The family did have insurance.

“I am asking for your support to assist them as they try to resume their lives by providing them with some immediate relief to cover Steve’s lost wages, school supplies, clothing, food and toys,” said Dickinson.

In the first day, the family received more than $3,000 in donations from 32 different donors.

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