Genelle fire victims debunk rescue story

Kyra Hoggan
By Kyra Hoggan
October 17th, 2013

A couple who have lost everything in a mobile home fire Tuesday (October 15) are feeling further victimized by accounts (including one in The Source https://castlegarsource.com/news/trailer-fire-genelle-not-suspicious-26813#.Ul82PRDRUik) of two local men saving them from the fire.

Ron, 74, and Joy, 68, Roshinsky say that’s absolutely not how the situation played out.

“My husband was napping in his chair, which is in back, and I was in the bedroom playing on my computer (also in the back portion of the trailer),” she said. For about 15 minutes, I could smell wax, like a candle burning, then I heard crackling like flames.”

She said this was around the time her husband woke and went to investigate, finding the front of the trailer fully engulfed in fire.

She said their only option for egress at that point was the bedroom window, so her husband scooped up their dog, a Bijon Frise, and tossed it out the window, then smashed the window with his hand to create a wider opening for himself and his wife, who was casting around trying to find their other dog, a little Shitsu-Havanese.

“The smoke was a foot high by then, we just had no time,” she said, adding her husband threw himself out the window and landed flat on his face, then caught her fall when she jumped out the window as well.

She said there were no two rescuers – they didn’t see anyone else until she attempted to get in her car, and a man came running up shouting, “Get out of the car, get out of the car.”

She did just that, and he did take the keys from her and move the car farther from the flames. He also let her borrow his phone to call 911.

“He said, ‘sure, as long as it’s not long-distance’,” she said.

She said her two daughters arrived when she was in the ambulance, which took the couple to hospital to be treated for cuts and smoke inhalation.

Now the big challenge, she said, is figuring out what’s next. They are, thankfully, insured, but she said the loss of their home, where they’ve lived for two years as of last May, is, in some ways, incalculable.

“We were neat hoarders,” she said, explaining her husband’s woodworking tools, her paintings and scrapbooking supplies, photos – it’s all gone. “We had so much stuff in that trailer. It’s a total nightmare.”

One small bright note is that firefighters were able to recover two USB sticks containing Joy’s family tree and all their photos. They’ll have to get them professionally dried out before they’ll know whether they’re salvageable, but at least there’s some hope.

The Source apologizes for the inaccuracies in our original coverage.

Categories: General