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.

SHERYL AND ANDREW WALES lost everything

SHERYL AND ANDREW WALES lost everything

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.

photos@comoxvalleyrecord.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Dr. Sandra Allison and Dr. Charmaine Enns joined school district senior staff for a virtual town hall meeting to address the latest COVID concerns in schools. Image, screenshot
No secondary cases in Comox Valley schools, say health officers

School district hosts virtual town hall to address recent COVID-19 cases in schools

One of the rescues at CATS - Cat Advocates Teaching & Saving Society’s new location on Knight Road in Comox. Photo by Erin Halushak
Feline rescue organization growing into new space

Cat Advocates Teaching & Saving Society opens new facility on Knight Road

Comox Valley RCMP had access to 20 Street blocked off between Cousins and Choquette avenues as they conducted a raid of a house on the block. Photo by Terry Farrell
Comox Valley RCMP raid Courtenay problem house, several arrests made

Neighbours have reached out to media on several occasions with complaints about the property

A vial of Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine is pictured at a family doctor office, Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021 in Paris. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP -Christophe Ena
Tentative COVID-19 vaccine site chosen in the Comox Valley

B.C. is moving into Phase 2 of its COVID-19 mass immunization plan

Cumberland is considering downtown densification proposals, and with that comes questions around parking, among other things. Photo by Mike Chouinard
Water bottling ban, parking key changes for Cumberland zoning

Bylaw on amendments still need adoption following March 2 hearing

VIDEO: Courtenay Nissan hosting YANA fundraiser

Courtenay Nissan is hosting a special YANA fundraiser all weekend long, from… Continue reading

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

Walter Gretzky father of hockey hall-of-famer Wayne Gretzky waves to fans as the Buffalo Sabres play against the Toronto Maple Leafs during third period NHL hockey action in Toronto on Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Walter Gretzky, father of the Great One, dies at 82

Canada’s hockey dad had battled Parkinson’s disease and other health issues

Burnaby Mounties responded to 56 complaints and issued 10 tickets to people flouting COVID-19 restrictions in February. (Patrick Davies/100 Mile Free Press)
COVID denier fined $2,300 for hosting gathering in her home: Burnaby RCMP

The woman told Mounties she does not believe the pandemic is real

Municipal Affairs Minister Josie Osborne speaks in the B.C. legislature, March 4, 2021. (Hansard TV)
B.C. Liberals, NDP sing in harmony on local election reforms

Bill regulates paid canvassers, allows people in condo buildings

The intersection of Melrose Street and Third Avenue. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)
Suspect in custody after two pedestrians struck in Port Alberni hit and run

RCMP asking for video footage, credit witnesses for quick arrest

The Courtenay Fire Department hopes to start a new recruit training program in mid-2021, pending Provincial Health Orders. Scott Stanfield photo
Courtenay Fire Department gets creative

Due to public health orders resulting from COVID, the Courtenay Fire Department… Continue reading

(National Emergency Management Agency)
No tsunami risk to B.C. from powerful New Zealand earthquake: officials

An 8.1 magnitude earthquake shook the north of New Zealand Thursday morning

(AP Photo/Richard Vogel, File)
Pandemic stress, isolation key factors as to why Canadians turned to cannabis, alcohol

Study found that isolation played key role in Canadians’ substance use

Most Read