Fundraisers, support group pop up online for Cherry Avenue residents displaced by fire

A resident displaced by the Cherry Avenue apartment fire earlier this week is out of both a home and work.

Kristin Gaddie has organized a GoFundMe fundraiser to help her sister, Nicole Gaddie, who both lived and worked as a cleaner in the building, at 435 Cherry Ave.

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“Now she has no income at all,” Kristin Gaddie said. “So, she’ll have bills, she needs her phone bill [paid]. Pets probably still need to be seen for smoke inhalation. She lost — like, she’s on disability — so she has special shoes that needs to be replaced. Also, they need money for a damage deposit to move into a new place and they just need to start over.”

In the wee hours of Tuesday morning, a fire broke out in the apartment building, gutting one unit and displacing dozens of residents.

Kristin Gaddie said another sister, Michelle Gaddie, was in the process of moving in with Nicole.

Her sisters did not grab anything, apart from pets, on their way out of the building. Their apartment unit was on the third floor, two doors away from the unit scorched by the fire.

The sisters were hoping to get into the building on Wednesday, but it is expected smoke and water will have damaged their belongings.

Kristin Gaddie said her sister has been upset in the days since the fire.

The goal of the fundraiser is to raise $2,000. At the time of this report, $445 had so far been raised.

Another fundraiser has also popped up in the last day online for a young family also displaced by the fire.

The GoFundMe page states the family woke up at midnight to fire alarm bells ringing.

“The fire was raging in the apartment above theirs deeming her apartment uninhabitable with extensive damage from fire and water,” the fundraiser states. “Kiran and her husband came to Canada a few years ago and have no family or help in Kamloops.

Kiran is on maternity leave from River City Early Learning Centre and doesn’t get maternity leave because they aren’t Canadian citizens yet.”

Meanwhile, a move is afoot by residents displaced from their homes to organize online.

A Facebook group called “Residents of 435 Cherry Ave” has launched. Kristin Gaddie said it was set up for residents of the building to try and get everyone together to organize ways in which to help.

“Everyone’s kind of lost,” she said, noting people have gone in different directions and split up, while people in the community have simultaneously offered to help.

KTW reached out to Kamloops Fire Rescue — which is investigating the cause of the fire — for an update, but has not yet heard back.

© Kamloops This Week



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