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Burned-out Comox Valley family still needs help

JEANNETTE CAMPBELL, right, her 14-month-old baby Warren, and her sister-in-law Billie Heinpalu lost basically everything when the house they lived in on Lazo Road with Campbell
JEANNETTE CAMPBELL, right, her 14-month-old baby Warren, and her sister-in-law Billie Heinpalu lost basically everything when the house they lived in on Lazo Road with Campbell's partner Jesse Heinpalu and his mother Heidy burned to the ground at the end of December.
— image credit: Renee Andor

A Comox family is doing its best to move forward after fire destroyed the home they were living in, but they could use a bit of community help.

Fire quickly ripped through a large house at 1170 Lazo Rd. over two weeks ago, and the tenants — who did not have tenant insurance — lost basically everything they owned.

Jeanette Campbell, 29, her partner Jesse Heinpalu, 28, their 14-month-old son Warren, and Jesse's mother Heidy Heinpalu were all sleeping in the house when the fire started. They made it out with only their pyjamas.

"The fire was on the back porch so it went straight up and our room was right on the back, so as soon as it hit the cedar beams and stuff on the outside it went straight through," recalls Campbell. "There was nothing there anymore. Our room essentially fell into the kitchen as it burnt."

They lost pretty much all of their personal belongings — even the wallet containing their rent money burned with the house.

Jesse's 16-year-old sister Billie was at a friend's house for the night but also lived at the Lazo house and was left with nothing.

The family has been staying at various local motels since the blaze, and hopes to move into affordable housing this week.

While Campbell notes they've had quite a few offers of things like furniture and clothes, they need some cash to help with other essentials they need to replace, such as all of their identification.

Anyone who would like to contribute can go to any local CIBC branch and donate to transit number 03040, account number 7999593, and quote 'Richard Clark in trust for Jeannette Campbell.'

According to Comox fire chief Gord Schreiner, the fire is still under investigation by an insurance company. No foul play is suspected.

Campbell says the family is very thankful for all the help they have received so far.

"A big thanks for the emergency services and emergency response, and the Red Cross, and free store, Sally Ann and Foursquare Church — they've really helped," she says.

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