NEWS

B.C. town rallies around woman who lost family in fire

01/03/2012 01:30 EST | Updated 03/04/2012 05:12 EST

The community of Sicamous, B.C., is rallying around a mother who lost her two young sons and fiancé in a fire over the weekend.

Kara Wagner, 25, was at work when the family's mobile home went up in flames Sunday night, killing her fiancé Daniel Vollans and the couple's two young children, three-year-old Lealen and four-year-old Devlin.

Neighbour Trish Monroe said smoke engulfed the trailer despite the efforts of fire crews.

"It was a thick black smoke. It was sad to see it ... it was just rolling out of the trailer, and then the trailer just poof,and it was on fire."

Monroe said Wagner was working down the street when she got word of the fire.

"The mother came from work, running down the road, calling for her boys," she said. "I phoned the grandparents, they showed up, they were crying. It was sad."

The RCMP, the B.C. Coroner's Service and the Office of the B.C. Fire Commissioner are investigating.

"We're still conducting investigations ... so at this time we're not sure of the cause of the fire but we believe the fire is not of a criminal nature," said RCMP Const. Thomas Blankey.

Autopsies are pending to confirm the exact cause of the deaths.

'She's in a fairly dark place'

Friend Brianna LaRoy said the community support for Wagner has been overwhelming.

"She's going through an unimaginable tragedy, she's lost everything," LaRoy said. "She went to work and basically the uniform on her back is all that she owns now. She's in a fairly dark place, as anybody can imagine."

Words of encouragement and support have been pouring in on a Facebook page set up in Wagner's honour.

"I hope you are able to find strength and happiness through all this. You deserve all the support in the world," wrote Carly Dimmock.

"Kara, your loss is felt by all who know you or hear your story," wrote Georgia Bird. "My heart breaks and aches for you and your family and friends. You will feel a love and comfort from the community that only our little community could give. I am so sorry and extremely sad for you."

Friends and family have organized a benefit concert and a live auction, and are raising funds through a Facebook application.

Donations can also be made in Wagner's name at the TD Canada Trust in Salmon Arm and the Credit Union in Sicamous.

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