Sam and Lynda Clarke lost just about everything but each other in a house fire last week.

Sam and Lynda Clarke lost just about everything but each other in a house fire last week.

Couple left with nothing

Trust fund opened at credit union.

A Montrose couple is no longer asking “what if” and is now coping with the loss of their belongings that perished in a house fire.

Sam and Lynda Clarke are left with only a little clothing and what was stored in their motorhome after their home caught fire last Wednesday when they were at work.

The caretakers at Jubilee Manor are known for their generosity – ensuring tenants at the seniors’ apartment on Bay Avenue are comfortable – and as a result Manor society members have taken it upon themselves to open up a trust fund to help the couple get back on their feet.

“I think it’s very important when people have given noticeably to the community, to let the community know that now they need help,” said Margie Crawford, who along with Ed Nichols set up the account at Kootenay Savings Credit Union in Trail.

The Clarkes lived in their home on 9th Avenue for nearly six years but are now temporarily living in their motorhome in Castlegar until they decide what’s next.

Though they feel lucky to be alive, losing all their belongings has left an empty feeling.

“There are no words for it,” said Sam. “The biggest thing we’ve lost is memories, we’ve lost a lifetime of pictures and DVDs.”

Linda has been on an emotional roller coaster since she watched her home burn and collapse.

“Emotions are very up and down, we’re really just working hard to try and keep control,” she said. “It’s a feeling of total violation, it’s almost like you’ve been stripped of everything.”

Regardless, the couple is overwhelmed with the support from the community.

“The pouring out from people has really been quite incredible and it’s a feeling of security kind of knowing that your friends are all looking out for you and that people care,” said Lynda.

Those who wish to make a monetary donation may do so to the Sam and Lynda Clarke Fire Fund at the Trail branch.