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Fundraiser started for Okanagan couple who lost everything in a house fire

A community fundraiser has been organized for an Okanagan couple who lost everything in a devastating house fire this weekend.

According to a tip from KelownaNow reader Chad Brigden, Tristan Brigden and Rozie Stjean lost their home and all their possessions to a fire that broke out in Peachland in the early hours of Saturday, May 18.

Pictures shared by Brigden show that the house was completely gutted by the fire.

<who> Photo Credit Courtesy of Chad Brigden

The pair managed to get out of their basement suite uninjured along with their cats, dog and birds, Bridgen told KelownaNow.

At the time of the fire, it was reported that both the downstairs and upstairs tenants lost a cat, however, Brigden says a neighbour found one of the lost downstairs cats on Monday. There is no update on the second cat.

Samantha Blair, who says she is Tristan’s stepmother, has organized a GoFundMe to help the couple recover.

“The importance of this fundraiser cannot be overstated. Imagine losing everything you've worked for in an instant – cherished memories, personal belongings, and even the sense of security that comes with having a home,” she writes in the GoFundMe.

“For them, that nightmare became a harsh reality.”

Funds raised will help the couple secure shelter, replace essential items and “begin the long process of rebuilding their lives.”

The goal is to raise $5,000 and, as of Monday afternoon, just under $700 has been raised.

If you would like to and are able to donate, feel free to visit this link.

“Let's come together as a community to offer support, comfort, and hope to this young couple as they navigate through this challenging time. Thank you for your kindness and compassion,” Blair says on the fundraising page.

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