Pregnant B.C. firefighter tries to save own house that caught fire

Pregnant B.C. firefighter tries to save own house that caught fire

Julia Flinton and Anthony Sellars both worked on the 2017 wildfires

A pregnant Cariboo-area firefighter is recovering after trying to save her own house from a fire Monday night.

“Yesterday [Tuesday] I was really sore because my adrenalin was just pushing me through, but today is better,” said 25-year-old Julia Flinton who is expecting a baby girl on March 28. Flinton told Black Press she has had to take it easy because of concerns she could go into labour pre-term.

Flinton and her partner, Anthony Sellars, are receiving a surge of support from their hockey and firefighting communities after losing everything in the house fire Monday evening at Deep Creek, just north of Williams Lake.

Flinton was home alone while Sellars was at work when the fire broke out.

“I had lit the wood stove, left the door open to let some air flow in, and gone upstairs to put away groceries and smelled something that wasn’t wood smoke and came back downstairs,” she said.

“I tried to put the couch out with buckets of water, but it just got too big too fast. I grabbed our puppy and keys and got out of the house.”

One of Sellars’ uncles arrived and tried using the fire extinguisher to put it out, but the fire was growing too rapidly.

“Anthony works about 10 minutes away and by the time he got home there were flames outside of the house,” Flinton said.

Both the Wildwood Volunteer Fire Department and the Williams Lake Fire Department attended the fire.

READ MORE: Deep Creek home destroyed by fire

Flinton said she fought fires all summer before she discovered she was 13 weeks pregnant in September.

“I had no idea and just thought I was overtired from work.”

Flinton said they had been procrastinating buying baby things, which was fortunate.

“We had a few gifts, but nothing substantial which we were quite relieved about after the fire.”

“We actually had a few boxes that we had not brought back into the house from the 2017 [wildfire] evacuation because we were both working on fires. It was a huge relief because even though we did lose everything else there is still some stuff of value to us that has a lot of memories that we still have.”

Sellars has been on the Ravens Unit firefighting crew for seven years, and is working through the winter to complete his hours to become a Red Seal carpenter.

Flinton was with the Ravens for three years, with Vesta crew before that, and this past summer was with CIFAC in Williams Lake.

“I am working with the BC Wildfire Service right now as an auxiliary doing claims,” she said.

Flinton moved home to Williams Lake in recent years after spending 10 years away from her hometown to pursue her dreams of a hockey career abroad.

READ MORE: Flinton brings Cariboo roots to the Prairies

In 2014, Flinton and her Huskies teammates won a bronze medal at the Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) women’s hockey championships. She’s also been a member of the CIS Canadian women’s team and competed at the 2015 Winter Universiade in Granada, Spain.

In 2018, she was an assistant coach for the Williams Lake Midget Female Timberwolves team — the first women’s team from Williams Lake to win a provincial gold medal.

Flinton said when she moved home she wanted to give back to the community through the sport of hockey.

Flinton said she and Sellars share a love for the sport of hockey.

Sellars plays hockey for Aboriginal teams in the area.

A GoFundMe campaign created by a staff member at the Cariboo Fire Centre Tuesday saw cash donations pouring in for the couple.

As of Wednesday morning, $3,500 of the $5,000 GoFundMe goal had been raised in under 24 hours.

“Bad things happen to good people,” one person said in pledging support to the $5,000 fundraising goal.

Flinton said the support has definitely been “overwhelming and amazing.”

For now they are staying with Sellars’ father two doors down from where they were living.

“We have three dogs and a cat so it makes it easier,” Flinton said, noting the home lost in the fire was Sellars’ grandmother’s house.

“After Anthony’s grandmother passed away a few years ago he moved in.”



sports@wltribune.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

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

 

A home was destroyed by fire on the Mountain House Road north of Williams Lake Monday. Photo submitted

A home was destroyed by fire on the Mountain House Road north of Williams Lake Monday. Photo submitted

Just Posted

Motorists breaking travel rules can be fined $230 for failing to follow instructions or $575 if the reason for travel violates the essential travel health order, at this Highway 3 check area near Manning Park. Photo RCMP
RCMP begin stopping drivers on BC highways – check point at Manning Park

Four check points are set up Thursday May 6 around the province

Rex, an elderly golden Labrador retriever, is surrounded by his rescuers in Golden Ears Provincial Park. (Special to The News)
VIDEO: Dog survives plunge over Gold Creek Lower Falls in Maple Ridge

Fire chief asks for visitors to be more cautious in Golden Ears Provincial Park

Supt. Wendy Mehat is officially announced as the new Ridge Meadows RCMP officer in charge. (Ridge Meadows RCMP photo/ Special to The News)
RCMP leader gets mayoral nods

Supt. Wendy Mehat has been selected as the Maple Ridge - Pitt Meadows new officer in charge

Maple Ridge secondary athletes who are on their way to compete at the collegiate level: Jade Lenton, Kaelyn Van Garderen, Ivy Threatful, Neve Hayes, Grace Hamilton, Gabby Di Girolamo, Soleil Brooks, Adrian Truong, Jack Emley Graham and missing Cassidy MacPherson. (Neil Corbett/The News)
Ramblers athletes recruited by college teams

Maple Ridge secondary has 10 graduates moving up to post secondary athletics

Dr. Biju Mathew visited Bihar twice to in order to gain perspective to write his book.
Maple Ridge doctor worried about family and friends in India

More than 400,000 new COVID-19 cases in 24 hours reported in India on Wednesday, May 5

Protesters attempt to stop clear-cutting of old-growth trees in Fairy Creek near Port Renfrew. (Will O’Connell photo)
VIDEO: Workers, activists clash at site of Vancouver Island logging operation

Forest license holders asking for independent investigation into incident

Surrey RCMP is investigating after a serious three-vehicle crash at the intersection of King George Boulevard and 128th Street Thursday afternoon (May 6, 2021). (Photo: Shane MacKichan)
VIDEO: Serious crash in Surrey sends 1 to hospital

Surrey RCMP say one of the drivers fled on foot, but was later found at an area hospital

Starting Tuesday, May 11, B.C. adults born in 1981 and earlier will be able to register for a vaccine dose. (Haley Ritchie/Black Press Media)
BC adults 40+ eligible to book COVID-19 vaccinations next week

Starting Tuesday, people born in 1981 and earlier will be able to schedule their inoculation against the virus

John Paul Fraser, executive director of the BC Salmon Farmers Association. (Screen shot)
Salmon farmers warn Surrey jobs on line as feds end Discovery Islands operations

344 full-time jobs at risk in Surrey and 1,189 B.C.-wide

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Parks Canada and Tla-o-qui-aht Tribal Parks dig the washed up Princess M out from sand along the south shore of the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve. (Nora O’Malley photo)
Rescue attempt costs man his boat off Pacific Rim National Park Reserve

Coast Guard response questioned after volunteer responder’s speedboat capsizes in heavy swells

Al Kowalko shows off the province’s first electric school bus, running kids to three elementary and two secondary schools on the West Shore. (Zoe Ducklow/News Staff)
B.C.’s first electric school bus making the rounds in Victoria suburbs

No emissions, no fuel costs and less maintenance will offset the $750K upfront expense

The Aquilini Investment Group has agreed to a proposed contract of five years to run the Abbotsford Centre. (File photo)
Proposal to run Abbotsford Centre offered to Canucks ownership group

Planned five-year contract to cost city $750K annually, starting Jan. 1, 2022

Road sign on Highway 1 west of Hope warns drivers of COVID-19 essential travel road checks on the highways into the B.C. Interior. (Jessica Peters/Chilliwack Progress)
B.C. residents want travel checks at Alberta border, MLA says

Police road checks in place at highways out of Vancouver area

Most Read