Vavenby ‘heritage home’ lost in recent fire

First school in Vavenby, built in 1917, close to Skookumchuck Creek. First teacher was Miss Mellish. (Upper North Thompson Reflections)First school in Vavenby, built in 1917, close to Skookumchuck Creek. First teacher was Miss Mellish. (Upper North Thompson Reflections)
Vavenby Fire Department battles the flames of a house fire Friday, April 9. (Photo from GoFundMe page)Vavenby Fire Department battles the flames of a house fire Friday, April 9. (Photo from GoFundMe page)

By Robyn Rexin

On April 9, 2021, there was a house fire on Vavenby Bridge Road at 4:00 p.m.

Ken Miller was barbecuing when he went inside to grab something. When he turned around, the house was engulfed in flames. He yelled out to everyone to get out of the house. His wife Melody and their oldest daughter Tessa, escapsed the fire. Tess dialed 911 on her cell phone and grabbed their three dogs.

The family also had three cats, only one of which they managed to find.

Ten firefighters and four fire trucks responded to the call. The firefighters were there fighting the blaze for six hours. Flames from the barbecue on the deck got into the eaves. The fire went up into the attic and spread quickly. Unfortunately, the house was a complete loss.

Firefighters had to use an excavator to tear the remains down in order to enter the area and mop up. It was unsafe to do otherwise.

This house, a somewhat historic building, had been built as a school for all grades in 1917. It stood on the south side of the Thompson River, and additions were made in 1951.

Children who lived on the north side of the river rode across on the ferry to get to and from school. When the river was frozen, they would walk across on the ice. A bridge wasn’t built until 1949.

The school was turned into a community hall in the late ‘50s, after the new school was built on the playground. It was used for dances, wedding receptions, family gatherings, children’s Christmas parties, funeral receptions and meeting, among many other things.

It was sold after the new and larger community hall was built on Vavenby Bridge Road. The owners turned into a home, to which many referred to as a “heritage home.”

A GoFundMe set up by Melody’s sister Joanne Laderoute raised $25,310 to help the family.

“One hundred per cent goal reached!” an update posted by Laderoute reads. “We are very grateful to everyone that has supported the Millers through this very difficult time…we are most humbled by your support.”

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

The first Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine dose in Canada is prepared at The Michener Institute in Toronto on Monday, Dec. 14, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
One death, 39 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

There are 484 active cases of the virus in the region currently

File photo
Police respond to reports of suspicious visitors in Vavenby

Clearwater RCMP responded to 54 calls for service this past week.

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
65 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

Overall, B.C. is seeing a decrease in COVID-19 cases

FILE - In this April 19, 2021, file photo, Keidy Ventura, 17, receives her first dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine in West New York, N.J. States across the country are dramatically scaling back their COVID-19 vaccine orders as interest in the shots wanes, putting the goal of herd immunity further out of reach. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File)
5 more deaths, 131 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health over the weekend

Those 18-years and older in high-transmission neighbourhoods can register for the vaccine

District of Clearwater meetings are open to the public. The meeting agendas and past meetings minutes can be viewed on the DOC's website. Every meeting has time allocated at the end for comments from the public.
District of Clearwater hires new chief adminstrative officer

The new CAO will arrive at the end of June.

B.C. Labour Minister Harry Bains in the B.C. legislature, May 13, 2019. (Hansard TV)
VIDEO: B.C. to provide 3 days of sick pay for COVID-19 absences

Province will support employers on cost, labour minister says

BC Housing minister David Eby. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito)
Eby jabs back against Penticton mayor’s ad urging BC Premier to intervene in shelter dispute

Eby writes that Penticton’s ‘serious’ social issues won’t improve under leadership of the mayor

What3words was first created in the U.K. in 2013 and is credited to saving the lives of outdoor enthusiasts around the world. (Contributed)
‘This is a life saving tool’: App helps paramedics find capsized canoeists near Revelstoke

What3words pinpoints the person’s phone location to a three-meter range

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, April 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 rate creeps up again, 600 new cases Wednesday

One more death, 423 people in hospital with virus

B.C. Agriculture Minister Lana Popham takes questions in the B.C. legislature in 2017. (Hansard TV)
UPDATE: B.C. will fund another year of fresh fruit, vegetables, milk in schools

John Horgan government working on school meal program

Surrey RCMP is releasing sketches of a suspect in an “indecent act” at the Coyote Creek Elementary playground on April 30, 2021. Police said the suspect was clean-shaven “during some interactions” and on “other occasions had stubble outlining a goatee and mustache.” (Images: Surrey RCMP handout)
Vancouver mayor-elect Kennedy Stewart addresses supporters in Vancouver on Sunday, Oct. 21, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Vancouver mayor says there’s no time to redo details of drug decriminalization plan

Kennedy Stewart says a federal election could see the small window of opportunity close on the city’s bid for an exemption from criminal provisions on simple possession of small amounts of drugs

Premier Mike Horgan received his first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. (Facebook/John Horgan)
More than 50% of people eligible in B.C. have received 1st vaccine dose

‘We’ve made extraordinary progress together over the past few weeks,’ says Premier Horgan

Most Read