Burned-out Comox Valley couple loses home, pet, ‘whole life’

On their 20th anniversary Thursday, Sheryl Wales noted her husband Andrew didn't have his wedding ring.



On their 20th anniversary Thursday, Sheryl Wales noted her husband Andrew didn’t have his wedding ring.

His ring, along with all of the couple’s possessions and their daughter’s, were lost in a fire that destroyed the family’s Comox home Monday.

“Our whole life was in that house,” said Wales. “We don’t have a home. We have nothing; we’re relying on the kindness of strangers. The outpouring has been amazing.”

Along with losing clothes, possessions, furniture and keepsakes, the family also lost some of their pets — their 13-year-old dog Sally and three ferrets.

Wales said there is nothing left of their home in which the military family lived in for four years. She said the combination of a wood house and a metal roof “basically created an oven.”

The fire, which began in the morning, was still burning when Wales and her husband returned to the site around 7 p.m.

“We literally have the clothes on our back,” she added.

With an extension from Emergency Services, the family has been able to stay a few extra days in a hotel, but with no plans for shelter after 72 hours, Wales noted employees of Applebees (where she is a regular) and the Holiday Inn Express in Courtenay offered a room for the family to stay for a few days.

She has been in constant contact with her adjuster from their insurance agency who said she could provide an advance of $3,000, but would have to be mailed as a cheque. Wales questions how it could arrive at their destroyed home.

Along with military support, Wales said her co-workers at Labour Unlimited have come together and spearheaded donations and dropoff locations for clothes and other necessities.

She noted the kindness of strangers has been unbelievable, as she has received a phone call from a man who showed up with a bag of clothes at their hotel, and a donation of furniture and a gift certificate from Fabricland.

Wales described the past week as nothing short of surreal.

“It’s truly mind-boggling. It’s Day Three and it feels like it’s been weeks. We’re going through the motions because we have to,” she said.

A fund has been set up through TD Canada Trust in Comox for the family, along with dropoff stations at Dairy Queen and Labour Unlimited at 1935 Cliffe Ave. To make a monetary donation at TD, use branch 93140, institution number 004, and account number 6020874.


Just Posted

Brooklyn Elementary was able to get its expanded garden ready this spring. Photo by Comox Valley Schools
Comox Valley school garden in full bloom after setback

Along with COVID delays, Brooklyn Elementary project had lumber stolen in 2020

CVSAR search the Puntledge River following a report of an abandoned kayak. Photo, CVSAR Facebook page
Comox Valley Search and Rescue spends four hours searching for no one

Overturned kayak a reminder for public to contact officials if they have to abandon a watercraft

Little Brown Bat, Cori Lausen image
Puntledge River bats being studied

Project will use ultrasonic data to collect information on species and habitat

A 30x40 ft boat/car shop in the Little River area near Wilkinson Road was fully involved by the time firefighters arrived on scene. Photo by Comox Fire Rescue
Comox firefighters battle ‘showy’ shop fire Saturday night

Smoke could be seen throughout the Comox Valley

People watch a car burn during a riot following game 7 of the NHL Stanley Cup final in downtown Vancouver, B.C., in this June 15, 2011 photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Geoff Howe
10 years ago: Where were you during the 2011 Vancouver Stanley Cup Riots?

Smashed-in storefronts, looting, garbage can fires and overturned cars some of the damage remembered today

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

(Black Press Media file)
Dirty money: Canadian currency the most germ-filled in the world, survey suggests

Canadian plastic currency was found to contain 209 bacterial cultures

(pixabay file shot)
B.C. ombudsperson labels youth confinement in jail ‘unsafe,’ calls for changes

Review states a maximum of 22 hours for youth, aged 12 from to 17, to be placed in solitary

Eleonore Alamillo-Laberge, 6, reads a book in Ottawa on Monday, June 12, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Parents will need to fight ‘COVID learning slump’ over summer: B.C. literacy experts

Parents who play an active role in educating their children this summer can reverse the slump by nearly 80%, says Janet Mort

The border crossing on Highway 11 in Abbotsford heading south (file)
Western premiers call for clarity, timelines on international travel, reopening rules

Trudeau has called Thursday meeting, premiers say they expect to leave that meeting with a plan

The B.C. government’s vaccine booking website is busy processing second-dose appointments, with more than 76 per cent of adults having received a first dose. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C.’s COVID-19 infections, hospitalizations stable for Tuesday

108 new confirmed cases, 139 in hospital, 39 in intensive care

Cowichan Tribes man Adrian Sylvester is worried that he was targetted by a trailer hitch thrown from a vehicle. (Facebook photo)
Cowichan Tribes man worried he was target of trailer hitch

Adrian Sylvester says no one has reported a missing hitch after one nearly hit him

Most Read