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

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

Just Posted

Video: Enraged man terrifies staff and customers at Blind Bay restaurant

Video on Facebook shows the man hurling profanity at workers during the dinner rush on Aug. 7.

Opening night lineup for online Roots & Blues festival released

The first night of the festival on Aug. 14 will be stacked with favourites from previous years

EDITORIAL: Managing wildfires

Wildfires have the potential to cause significant damage within our province

Floating concert to shake Shuswap Lake

Pair of bands booked to play floating concert at the Sea Store on Sept. 5

53 new COVID-19 cases, no new deaths cap off week of high infection rates in B.C.

Roughly 1,500 people are self-isolating because they either have COVID-19 or have been exposed to it

VIDEO: Internet famous Yukon-based bhangra dancer explores Vancouver Island

Gurdeep Pandher spreads joy through dance, forms cross-cultural connections amid pandemic

Tech mogul growing North Okanagan’s wine industry

The founder of online dating site Plenty of Fish is developing 900 acres in Vernon

Fentanyl-laced powder being sold as cocaine in Kamloops

Interior Health has released a warning about very strong fentanyl in Kamloops

Unofficial holidays: the weird and wonderful things people celebrate around the world

On any given day of the year, there are several strange, silly or serious holidays to observe

North Okanagan ranch needs support to stay afloat

Founded in 1867, a fundraiser has been launched for the Historic O’Keefe Ranch

Pup stolen from Vernon temporary shelter reunited with owner

Nicola Sanders says her son’s puppy was ‘overjoyed’ to see her owner again

Moving on: Tanev scores 11 seconds into OT as Canucks oust Wild

Vancouver beats Minnesota 5-4 to move into first round of NHL playoffs

Number of Kelowna-linked COVID-19 cases grows to 159

Interior Health reported four new cases region-wide on Friday, 18 remain active

Most Read