A fire on Christmas Eve destroyed Babine Lake Resort’s main lodge. (Submitted photo)

A tragic Christmas Eve in Burns Lake

Fire destroys Babine Lake Resort’s main lodge; community comes together

Northern B.C. residents are coming together to support the owners of Babine Lake Resort after a fire destroyed the resort’s main lodge on Christmas Eve.

“The amazing neighbours came out in force and took action to save the remaining cabins and structures,” described the owners’ granddaughter Samantha Green. “Thankfully no one was seriously injured, just minor burns.”

Green has set up a Go Fund Me campaign which, as of Jan. 4, had raised $7120 to replace the lost belongings and supplies used to run Bill and Traude Hoff’s resort. A donation account has also been established at the Bulkley Valley Credit Union.

The resort owners told Lakes District News they weren’t sure about the exact cause of the fire, but they suspect it might have been caused by a new heater.

“The fire didn’t start in the resort, it started in the water shed,” said Bill. “We just had a brand new heater in there and, as far as I know, it was there for four days. There was no heat in the resort, we don’t live in the resort in the winter.”

Since the resort is not located inside any fire protection areas, the resort owners relied on community members to help put out the fire.

“All the neighbours came over to help and we saved the cabins,” said Bill. “We had lots of support and lots of help.”

Bill said he’s confident the resort will reopen in the future.

“All we need to do is get an office going and it will be open for business,” he said. “We got lots of cleanup to do, but we got a big family and everybody is coming to help.”

In a Facebook post that has been shared hundreds of times, local resident Kelly Holliday said she was sad to see another tragedy striking Burns Lake.

“Bill and Traude Hoff are longtime residents of Babine Lake and in fact live year-round at the resort,” she said. “In just a matter of moments, their home and livelihood was left in pile of ash and debris.”

“The owners are devastated and have lost a good majority of their lives from this tragic event,” Holliday told Lakes District News, urging local residents to show their support for the family by making a donation.

Donations can be made at any Bulkley Valley Credit Union branch to the Babine Lake Resort fire relief fund.

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