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VIDEO: Former Kelowna MP gets a first-hand look at the burned remains of his home

When a busload of property owners who lost their homes in the recent fires got a guided tour to what's left of their neighbourhood, former Kelowna- Lake Country Liberal MP Stephen Fuhr was among them.

Fuhr knew what to expect, but seeing it was something else.

His home was lost on the Friday, a day after the Thursday night firestorm that brought the blaze close to his home.

<who> Photo Credit: Contributed

"I guess what I was expecting was maybe a burned-out carcass of a house," said Fuhr, "but what we was completely incinerated."

Fuhr's was located off Westside Road, where the impact of the fire was particularly devastating.

He was taken on an escorted tour with a few of his neighbours.

"You could see the foundation, but everything had kind of imploded on itself. It was just ash. Everything was gone."

<who> Photo Credit: Contributed
Fuhr said he was emotional as he surveyed the damage, and his mind went to the things that are gone for good.

"There's a lot of things in there that I collected from my flying career," he said. "Things that I will never be able to replace."

Fuhr was permitted to bring one person along. He brought his insurance agent.

"My insurance company has been fantastic," he said.

<who> Photo Credit: Contributed

And he's not wasting any time getting on the road to rebuilding.

"It can overwhelming if you think of all the things at one time," said Fuhr. "It's one step at a time."

Dealing with the utilities is an example.

"I've got to give a shout-out, Telus has been just fantastic," he said.

"They actually reached out to me a day or two after this happened and gave me a little gift card to Walmart to run out and get whatever I needed."

<who> Photo Credit: Contributed

He's thankful he had recently documented the main contents and upgrades at his home with video, so he had something to show the insurance company.

If there is anything that delays the start of rebuilding, Fuhr fears it could be the permit process.

But the Mayor and some senior West Kelowna city officials were on hand to answer questions about how his applications and those of others in his situation will be dealt with.

"My specific question was would they be looked at in maybe an expedited fashion," explained Fuhr.

<who> Photo Credit: Contributed

He was told, there would be a separate process for those affected by these losses, which is encouraging.

"Everyone that I've talked to about this from insurance to the city to everybody involved is really, really working hard to get us back into where we need to be."

Still, he doesn't expect any construction to begin until next spring.

So, he believes getting into a new home in a year and a half would be the best-case scenario.

<who> Photo Credit: Contributed <who> Fuhr's home before the fire

"I think 18 months is probably as fast as it can happen," he said.

Fuhr's advice to people is to review your insurance and document what you've got.

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