By David F. Rooney
Dennis and Margo Goodman, the Revelstokians who owned the trailer that burned to the ground early on Saturday morning, have lost all of their possessions and now family members are organizing a public drive to help them out.
Margo’s sister, Julie Redlin of Vancouver, said Monday that the couple didn’t even have socks on when they fled the structure at 1:35 am and Dennis didn’t even have a shirt on.
“It’s just so insane when you lose absolutely everything,” Redlin said in an interview.
She said anyone who’d like to help them out can make a financial donation to Margo Goodman’s account at the Revelstoke Credit Union
They have purchased a few clothes at the Red Apple and Redline is buying them new wardrobes for Christmas. But the list of things they have lost for good is endless: clothes, furniture, household goods, family mementoes and treasures… even Margo’s artwork, canvasses, acrylic paints and brushes, and glasses.
All of the physical paintings she had at home are now ash but “at least the images for my paintings are all up here,” Margo said tapping her temple during a brief interview on Monday morning.
Local artists re stepping up to help her replace those lost art supplies. Jackie Pendergast has set up an account at Your Office and Art Supplies so artists — and others — can make a cash donation that will allow Margo to eventually purchase new paints, brushes and canvases.
The loss of her progressive-lensed glasses was problematic. She initially couldn’t get an appointment at Revelstoke Optometry before December 29, but they just after liunch on Monday they came through with an appointment for that afternoon. That’s a good thing as trying to get through the day without glasses is causing her headaches.
All in all, this is shaping up as a dismal Christmas for the Goodmans. And it’s made even more depressing by the circumstances that contributed to it.
Dennis was diagnosed with lymphatic cancer a couple of weeks ago and has been undergoing tests in preparation for what the couple anticipates will be chemotherapy treatment starting in January. Because they have always heated their trailer with wood (not a problem in the winter because one or the other of them was always at home to make sure the wood fire remained lit) they decided an oil furnace would be a good idea as it wouldn’t need tending if they were stuck in Kelowna by a winter road closure.
So, they bought a new oil tank and had it hooked up last Friday to an unused oil furnace that had been checked out by a Blue Flame serviceman from Malakwa. He fired it up and everything seemed to be working smoothly and properly when the Goodmans went to bed that night.
“They woke up to hear this roaring noise and the smell of oil coming from the furnace room,” Redlin said. “They went down and opening the face plate and saw that the interior of the furnace was on fire. The fire quickly spread and the couple called 911 then fled, grabbing a few garments and boots on their way out the door.
They hope, too, that their three-year-old black cat, Misty, got out, too. If you see a black cat near Loschinksi Road it is likely her.
Twenty-three firefighters responded with trucks and a water tender — there are no hydrants where they live five kilometers west of the city near the Peaks Lodge. Emergency Social Services fixed them up with three nights at the Sandman and food vouchers for Denny’s Restaurant while Peaks Lodge found a shirt for Dennis to wear.
After all of that the couple has a long way to go to find the stability and contentment they once enjoyed.
If you can find a few bucks to help them out please deposit them into Margo Goodman’s account at the Revelstoke Credit Union. For more information please call Margo’s sister, Julie Redlin, at 1-778-808-1374.