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Christian Island family distraught over fire that left them homeless

A Go Fund Me Campaign is looking to raise $10,000 for Duncan and Marylou Carruthers
A Christian Island family lost their house in a Sunday morning fire. The community has rallied to raise funds for the couple that lived in the house. Supplied photo.

Christian Island community members are raising $10,000 for fellow First Nations members who lost their home in a weekend fire.

At 1:48 a.m. Sunday, Duncan and Marylou Carruthers' called in a structure fire that had started in their house on the Beausoleil Island First Nation reserve, said Dan Monague, administrator for the First Nation.

"They were asleep," he said, adding, "(The Carruthers) were able to escape without any injuries, but they lost all the content."

That means a lot of memories, said Monague, adding, the couple had been in the house for about 20 years but didn't have homeowners' insurance. 

As a result of the loss, the community rallied behind the couple to start a Go Fund Me Campaign that had already raised $3,775 of its $10,000 target by 4 p.m. Monday.

"The community is (also) participating with donations for food and just being there for them," said Monague. "The community is a very, very caring community and in times of crisis everybody steps up to help as much as they can."

The money will go to help them furnish a new home or pay rent if they have to leave their residence, he said.

"It will (also) assist with day-to-day living expenses," said Monague.

Currently, the pair is being housed in a temporary residence that is owned by the First Nation, he said. 

"Luckily, we had space to put them (up) immediately," said Monague. "It's a rental unit that the First Nation owns and it had been cleaned and sanitized. We have them housed there free of charge, until they're housed properly."

At this time, he said, he did not feel comfortable connecting the family with the media for an interview.

"(Marylou) is very distraught at the incident," Monague said. "A lot of it is just the shock of it. What normally happens when people lose everything is that they're in shock and trying to deal with the loss." 

He said they're a well-known family, who are always very helpful and contribute to community events in anyway they can.

"I'd like to thank everyone that's participated so far," said Monague, adding, "just keep on sharing it and hopefully we'll meet the goal." 

The campaign, he said, is open until the target amount or a number beyond that has been collected.