A year after the devastating floods in BC, an Abbotsford couple lost their home in a fire

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dated: 2022-11-19 23:18:58 .

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The fire decimated the damaged house, including the second floor of the house. The family also lost their dog Graci in the fire.

At left, a chimney fire destroyed the Mercier family home in Sumas Prairie on November 14, 2022. Right flood in front of the Mercier family home on 5th Street on November 13, 2021. Photo by Shelley Maccarron /jpg

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A Sumas Prairie family whose home was destroyed during last year’s floods has been further set back by a chimney fire that damaged the home beyond repair this week.

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As Lorene and Lionel Mercier returned to herd cattle two weeks ago, an inferno erupted from their chimney as the couple tried to fend off the cold during Monday night’s power outage, spreading out of control.

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“The two-story building is now completely destroyed and needs to be rebuilt. It’s a write-off,” said goddaughter Shelley Maccarron, who started an online fundraiser asking for the public’s help.

The husband and wife, both in their 60s, have been living out of a trailer since their five-acre property was flooded with nearly a meter of water on November 13, 2021.

“They haven’t even started the rehabilitation of their house from the flood. They were waiting for help from the province who assessed the damage and told them they were entitled to compensation,” Maccarron said.

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The Merciers temporarily returned to the damaged home while their camper was under warranty.

But Monday’s fires decimated its structure, including the second floor of the house. The family also lost their dog Graci in the fire.

“Your house was not insured,” Maccarron told Postmedia News. “The brokers told them that they don’t insure the house because it’s empty, so there’s no point in paying a premium if nobody lives there.”

The daughter is upset that more is not being done to help her parents and others affected by the floods rebuild their lives. More than 3,300 residents were forced from their homes last November when a series of storm surges caused the Nooksack River to overflow, flooding the Abbotsford and Sumas Valley areas.

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“Government assistance has been painfully slow and unrealistic for people to move forward,” Maccarron said.

The family has yet to hear back from Disaster Financial Assistance regarding their claim for damages to their Sumas Prairie home.

“These are the most hard-working, humble people there are. I know they are too proud to accept help, but this time they need it.”

Since Friday, the Merciers have been living in the countryside again in their prepared mobile home.

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A year after the devastating floods in BC, an Abbotsford couple lost their home in a fire

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Source https://canadatoday.news/ca/a-year-after-devastating-bc-floods-the-abbotsford-couple-lost-their-home-in-a-fire-154752/

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