A gofundme page, titled Martz House Fire, was set up to support Alex, Lexi and two-year-old daughter Grace, who were renting a home in Ranchero, near Salmon Arm, that caught on fire in the early morning hours of Monday, April 27.
“They (including their two dogs and two cats) awoke and escaped just in time before their house burned and collapsed,” wrote Alethia Perry, Alex’s sister who set up the fundraiser.
Sean Coubrough, fire services coordinator for the Columbia Shuswap Regional District, said the Ranchero-Deep Creek Fire Department responded to the blaze in the 100 block of Hamley Road at about 4:30 a.m.
Upon arrival, firefighters found a fully involved residential structure fire.
• Photographer Kelly Dick found an uncommon visitor to Salmon Arm in the viewfinder of her camera. Dick photographed a Double-Crested Cormorant perched in a tree above McGuire Lake. Cormorants are primarily a coastal bird, but nesting colonies exist in a few of B.C.’s large Interior lakes.
• The B.C. Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure announced the tender has been issued for the Chase Creek Road to Chase West four-laning project. The 3.3-kilometre expansion was to help make the section safer for travellers, including commercial truck drivers.
• Not everyone was getting the message regarding the provincewide ban on open burning. According to Shuswap fire chiefs, while most people are in compliance there were some instances of people ignoring the ban. Salmon Arm fire chief Brad Shirley said for each of the past several weekends, his Salmon Arm firefighters has responded to one or two complaints about open burning. Shirley said the fire department had the people extinguish their fires.
He reminded the public that anyone having a fire larger than a campfire could be subject to fines.
• The waters of the Salmon River were on the rise, prompting a warning from B.C.’s River Forecast Centre. Late afternoon on Tuesday, May 26, the centre upgraded the high streamflow advisory for the Salmon River to a flood watch. In response, the Shuswap Emergency Program (SEP) advised all residents in low-lying areas near the Salmon River to take measures to protect their property.
• Shuswap resident Rob Winder was with his son and boating near Marble Point, north of Sicamous, on May 16 when another boat on the water made him do a double take. The other boat’s trailer was still attached as it puttered across the lake at a slow speed. Winder filmed a 22-second clip of the boat but didn’t expect what happened next. Within hours of posting the video to his Facebook page, Winder saw it had more than 10,000 views. By the next day the clip had 500,000 views and Winder had already received an offer from Viral Hog to distribute the video to other websites around the world.