By June Norvila
The fireplace had been stoked up and the family of Scott and Candice Ross of Bluffton had settled down for supper around 7 p.m. on Nov. 5 when they felt something in the house didn’t seem right. Father Scott opened the door to let in some fresh air and —whoomp. Daughter Chloe went outside and started yelling Fire, Fire! She saw flames in the outside chimney wall.
The stones of the fireplace turned black instantly and they knew they had an emergency.
After placing a fire call, the family fought the fire themselves with a garden hose, the four fire extinguishers they had and with the girls throwing water on the fire from the sinks and bathtub. The family did have it mostly out when a fire crew from Rimbey arrived. Scott explained to the firemen that they had no insurance so the fire crew was careful to try to keep damage to a minimum.
The family moved in with Candice’s parents in Bentley for a few days but moved back into their Bluffton home after Scott did some patching. Candice explained she wanted to keep the kids in school so they moved back into their house as quickly as possible.
Scott stressed there is no insulation in places and they have no cupboards, etc. but the family says they are making do. The family will probably move in with Candice’s parents for the holidays for a while, she says.
On Dec. 11 the Royal Purple Bentley Lodge No. 264 Honored Royal Lady Sharon McKeage and Past District Deputy Joan Dickau presented the family with a cheque for $1500 from the Elks & Royal Purple Fund for Children. Funds can be accessed for use for children under 19 years of age up to $500 per child to help replace clothing, bedding and household items after a home fire. The Bentley chapter was eager to help out.
The Ross family considers themselves to be very lucky as it could have been much worse and luckily no one was hurt. They are very appreciative and thankful for the Royal Purple’s financial assistance.