Kathleen August’s young son Vincent, six, was helicoptered to Children’s Hospital in Vancouver to be treated for burns and smoke inhalation as a result of the Aug. 25 Dingwall Street townhouse fire.
As of Friday at noon Vincent was awake and able to take in fluids.
Flames tore through the Four Cedars townhouse complex around 10:40 p.m., displacing many of those who lived there and sending six residents to Cowichan District Hospital, with one, young Vincent, in serious condition.
Donations on a GoFundMe page set up by August’s best friend Becky Daigle had reached $1,400 of the $5,000 goal Friday morning.
“I am hoping to raise $5,000 to go towards food and accommodations for her while she is staying in Vancouver, to help her family take care of her other two children [aged seven and eight] waiting back home, lost wages, finding a new place, and any other unexpected expenses that come along with something horrible like this,” wrote Daigle on the GoFundMe page. “She has more than enough to worry about right now, without adding money to the mix, and I’m hoping we can ease that worry for her.”
Daigle describes August as “a single mom with a full-time job, she is loving and caring and kind to everyone — and this beautiful soul could really use some support right now.”
To help August get back on her feet visit https://gofund.me/a553c029 .
Alternatively, a second GoFundMe for the family has been set up at https://gofund.me/ead2bab0 by mom from August’s kids’ school.
“I’m just a mom from the kids’ school trying to help raise money,” said Christine Gagnon. “I’ve been in contact with Kathleen.”
Another young family, mom Eyvette Elliott, her partner Braeden, and her son Donovan, were rushed out of their home in the burning structure, with no shoes or change of clothes.
Eyvette’s mother Rhonda Elliott has set up a GoFundMe that’s raised half its $5,000 goal.
“With just weeks away from school starting for both Donovan and Eyvette, they both need some comfort knowing their basic needs are met at this time,” Rhonda wrote. “But more so to find a place to call home where they can feel safe and secure during this time. Starting over isn’t easy and any little bit helps.”
Her GoFundMe page can be found at https://gofund.me/97a9f368.
“Not the greatest way to wrap up an already so different summer, what with other worldly events,” Evyette later told the Citizen. She said they’re moving forward as best they can: she’s headed to work on her Masters degree in Community Planning at VIU while her son is set to for Grade 3 this fall.
Ways to support other fire victims are still being worked out. All three GoFundMe campaigns have been verified by the Citizen for validity.
Meanwhile, the North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP are investigating the cause of the fire.
“Investigators will continue to work on this incident to determine what was caused this fire,” said Staff Sgt. Chris Swain, acting detachment commander. “The preliminary report appears to show it was unintentionally caused, but the final fire report will take some time for a proper determination.”