Armstrong residents are rallying around a young couple, expecting their first child, who have lost everything to a fire.
Kyle Petersmeyer and Kira Sawatsky awoke from their sleep with their home engulfed by flames Monday night.
The fire, which caused significant damage to the Sage Avenue home is suspicious, police say.
“Occupants of the home and community members are understandably shaken from this event as recent arsons have occurred in the Armstrong area. However, this fire is being treated as a separate suspicious incident and is not considered linked to the previous arsons in the area,” says RCMP Const. Kelly Brett.
Vernon North Okanagan RCMP we called to assist the Armstrong Spallumcheen Fire Department in investigating the residential structure fire just before 11 p.m. April 9.
Upon police attendance, the rear of the home was fully engulfed in flames.
The fire was extinguished, but not before significant damage to the home was sustained. Petersmeyer sustained burns to his hand and arm and was treated by Emergency Health Services. All other occupants escaped without injury. Petersmeyer and Sawatsky rented the suite in the house from another couple, who lived upstairs.
“Thankfully they both were able to escape the wreckage with only minor injuries but they have quite literally lost every possession they owned,” said Brooke Adeline, Petersmeyer’s sister. “EVERYTHING – has now all been turned to ash.”
The couple, expecting their first child at the end of May, lost every baby item they had made or purchased – from handmade baby blankets to the car seat and mama-recorded baby lullabies.
“Kira had spent countless hours pouring her heart into hand making just about everything for the new addition to their family and now everything has been taken away,” said Adeline.
A GoFundMe has been started to help the young couple.
The homeowners are also hoping to find Petersmeyer and Sawatsky a new home as soon as possible and are asking for the public’s assistance.
“They are devastated by what has happened and need to get settled into a new home and embrace the arrival of their new baby,” said Monica Dalziel, thankful everyone is OK and especially gratefull to all the first responders, including the firefighters who spent hours trying to minimize damage to the home while protecting neighbouring houses.
The fire remains under investigation as the RCMP continue to work with the Armstrong Fire Department.