Samara Palmer and her family’s home and day spa, called Maradise, were destroyed by fire on Aug. 31. (GoFundMe photo)

Shuswap community rallies around family who lost home to suspicious fire

RCMP are investigating the fire which displaced a Cambie-Solsqua family

A house fire near Sicamous drew an outpouring of support for the family who lost their home and prompted an investigation by the RCMP.

The Sicamous Fire Department was called to the residence in the Cambie-Solsqua area in the early-morning hours of Aug. 31. Fire chief Brett Ogino said the Malakwa and Swansea Point fire departments were called in to help but the house was a total loss.

The loss of the house is especially devastating for Samara Palmer and her family because it served both as their home and the location of Palmer’s home-based business, the Maradise day spa, hair salon and fitness studio.

Family friend Kim Johnson is housing Palmer and her children for the time being and has also set up a GoFundMe page to help get the family back on their feet. Johnson said along with the loss of the home and personal items, the equipment Palmer uses for her business was also destroyed, so the money raised will go towards helping her get her business reestablished.

The GoFundMe page raised $2,865 of its $10,000 goal after being up for only 20 hours on the afternoon of Sept. 5. The page is available at www.gofundme.com/f/maradise.

Along with the GoFundMe page, a fundraising event has been scheduled for the Cambie Hall on Oct. 5. The fundraiser, which starts at 4 p.m., will feature giant outdoor inflatables for the kids, a silent auction and a concession dinner served by the Eagle Valley 4H Club.

Read More: Kelowna father pleads guilty to triple murder of daughters, wife

Read More: A security risk to Canada and a liar’: MP reacts to ISIS supporter living in Enderby

Organizer Joanne Stacey, who will also be performing music at the fundraiser, said both her performance and the open mic to follow will be streamed on Facebook Live.

As the community rallies around the displaced family, investigators are working to unravel the suspicious circumstances surrounding the fire.

Sgt. Murray McNeil of the Sicamous RCMP said the fire is being investigated as suspicious in nature. McNeil said no one was in the house when his officers arrived on the scene after being called by the Sicamous Fire Department. RCMP officers provided security at the scene and awaited fire investigators after the blaze was out.

McNeil said he is awaiting reports from both the Kelowna-based RCMP fire investigator and an investigator from the homeowner’s insurance company.

“We’re still actively investigating why the house caught fire and if anybody is responsible for that in a criminal nature,” McNeil said.

Read More: Garbage attracts bears, put it away or face fines: B.C. conservation officers

Read More: Salmon Arm company puts free roof over community-minded single mom

He added that at seven that morning, a person was apprehended under the Mental Health Act near the home destroyed in the fire. The person who the police apprehended is in a hospital and has not been charged with any offence. McNeil said the link between the incident which led to the Mental Health Act arrest and the fire is being investigated.

Note: An earlier version of this story had the date for the Cambie Hall fundraiser listed as Sept. 28. It has been changed to Oct. 5.


@SalmonArm
jim.elliot@saobserver.net

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Shuswap shows love for musician battling brain tumour

More than $10,000 raised during seven-hour benefit concert for John Fleming

Nineteen boats carrying invasive mussels stopped at B.C. borders

Waters of Columbia-Shuswap still test mussel-free

Dallas Smith, Terri Clark to perform on CP Holiday Train’s Shuswap stops

Annual festive food bank fundraiser rolling into region on Dec. 14

Salmon Arm farmer’s market moved indoors

The last market will take place Dec. 7

Teen with cancer whose viral video urged Canadians to vote has died, uncle tweets

Maddison Yetman had been looking forward to voting in her first federal election since junior high school

Rowing Canada, UVic investigate celebrated coach for harassment, abuse

Lily Copeland says she felt intimidated and trapped by Williams

Cleanup in the works after tanker truck fire leads to oil spill in B.C.’s Peace region

The province said the majority of the spilled oil likely burned away in the fire.

BC VIEWS: Action needed on healthcare workplace violence

While we’ve been talking about it, the number of B.C. victims has only grown

Closing arguments begin in B.C. case launched in 2009 over private health care

Dr. Day said he illegally opened the Cambie Surgery Centre in 1996 in order to create more operating-room time

MacLean says “Coach’s Corner is no more” following Cherry’s dismissal from Hockey Night

Cherry had singled out new immigrants in for not honouring Canada’s veterans and fallen soldiers

MacKinnon powers Avs to 5-4 OT win over Canucks

Vancouver battled back late to pick up single point

Poole’s Land finale: Tofino’s legendary ‘hippie commune’ being dismantled

Series of land-use fines inspire owner Michael Poole to sell the roughly 20-acre property.

Port Alberni mom takes school district to court over Indigenous smudging, prayer in class

Candice Servatius, who is an evangelical Christian, is suing School District 70

Most Read