Nine people escape burning Gimli home; father and son being treated at intensive care unit
Published Wednesday, January 2, 2013 11:18AM CST
Last Updated Thursday, January 3, 2013 4:20AM CST
An 18-year-old man and his father remain in hospital after a blaze forced them and seven others from a Gimli home on New Year’s Day.
“We’re devastated,” said Ian Tarnowski.
His brother-in-law, 41-year-old Greg Welch and 18-year-old son Jordan Welch, are both in an intensive care unit following the fire.
Jordan is in critical condition, said family.
“He has burns to 65 per cent of his body and we’re just hoping and praying that he’s going to pull through,” said Tarnowski.
Family said Jordan went back into the burning home to save his 12-year-old sister Jayda. He didn’t know she was already safely out.
“Being the kid he is and the person he is, he went back in to find her,” said Tarnowski.
The family had six friends over for a New Year’s party.
RCMP and fire and emergency crews responded around 4:30 a.m. on Jan. 1, 2012 to the house on Autumnwood Drive in Gimli.
Tarnowski said family members are optimistic that Jordan and Greg will recover, but added it’s the latest in a series of hardships they’ve faced.
Jordan and Jayda’s mom was diagnosed with cancer in 2009 and died a mother later and their grandfather died the following year, said family.
Now, the Welch family has lost its home and everything inside.
“They don’t even have the clothes on their backs because it was burned off in the fire,” said Tarnowski.
The community has started rallying around the family. Jayda’s dance group is collecting clothing for the family and some relatives have also been talking to companies that may make donations.
A trust fund has also been set up. Donations can be made at the credit union in Gimli or at any CIBC, in care of the Welch family.
RCMP said Wednesday the fire caused extensive damage to the home, but a dollar estimate has not yet been set.
The cause of the blaze is considered accidental and attributed due to "careless cooking," said RCMP.
RCMP said damage to the home on Autumnwood Drive in Gimli, Man. is extensive following the Jan. 1, 2013 fire.
Greg Welch (left) and his children Jayda and Jordan are shown in a family photo from Jordan's graduation.
Crews were called to the blaze on Autumnwood Drive in Gimli around 4:30 a.m. on Jan. 1, 2013. (photo courtesy RCMP)