Money being raised for family of Kelowna fire victim

A Go Fund Me Account has been set up for the family of Loree Dubuque, who died Monday

Credit: GoFundMe

Help is being sought for the family of a Kelowna woman who died in a Tuesday morning fire.

The Van Gool family lost their mother and wife, Loree Dubuque, and now a GoFundMe page is asking for donations to help them recover from the tragic blaze. Husband Michael Van Gool has two elementary school-aged sons.

“This is to raise money for the Van Gool family, victims of a house fire on Springfield Road in Kelowna on March 13,” reads the page.

“Sadly the two little boys and the father lost his wife and their mom. Please help this family in time of grief and sadness.”

The GoFundMe page was set up by Bill Henthorn, whose daughter attends Springvalley Elementary with Van Gool’s sons.

“My youngest one put the bug in my ear about wanting to help and after going through personal circumstances… the community rallied around us,” he said.

Donations can also be made to the TD Bank in Rutland to the account number 6535920.

“I can only imagine what they must be going through. For Michael to lose his wife under the circumstances, it’s gut wrenching,” said Henthorn.

Dubuque died after running back into the house fire she had just escaped.

RCMP were called to assist the Kelowna Fire Department March 13 at 5:05 a.m., with a fully engulfed residential structure fire in the 2600 block of the Springfield Road, according to the RCMP.

“Police have learned that a passerby was driving along Springfield Road, when he spotted the blaze and took action,” said Cpl. Jesse O’Donaghey, in a press release.

Witnesses say the man pulled into the homes’ driveway and honked his horn repeatedly to alert those still believed to be sleeping inside.

“Witnesses at the scene have told police that four occupants, including a man, a woman and two children were observed fleeing from their home to safety,” said O’Donaghey. “Investigators believe that the woman re-entered the residence for an unconfirmed reason. Tragically she was not seen re-exiting the home.”

As of Tuesday afternoon, $3,235 was raised towards the $25,000 goal.

Springvalley Elementary is collecting items for the family. Donations can be dropped off at the office. There will also be a bottle drive at the school Saturday, March 24 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Bottles and donations will be accepted at this time.

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