Family loses Home in Christmas Eve Fire

An Elk Point family is homeless after a house fire on Christmas Eve left the house they rent uninhabitable. Renter, Terri Castle, says her family has been bouncing from one couch to another, from friend to friend, relying on the good nature of others for a warm place to stay.

The fire broke out in a spare room, just after Terri’s younger son, 10 year old Ethan went to bed. Terri had her cousin, Jody Trippel and his girlfriend spending the night, with plans to drive to Edmonton in the morning to spent the day with her older son. Terri’s other son, 16 year old Christian was not home at the time; however his bedroom was destroyed in the fire, along with all his possessions, “his bed is gone, his things are gone and all his clothes.” Terri says Christian has been a rock through it all, “he’s a knock-em-down-get-back-up, kinda kid.”

Another room in the basement was destroyed, as well as structural damage to the kitchen. “The floor joists under the kitchen are gone. The two bedrooms that were downstairs, are gone,” Terri explains the fire worked its way through the basements, “all the walls seemed to heat right up and all the wiring in the basement is burned.”

Terri had been out back in her shed, preparing for Christmas, when the fire broke out in the room her cousin, Jody was sleeping in. Unsure how the fire started, Jody woke up to his bed on fire. “He has some burns to his feet, legs, elbows and hands, because he was trying to put the fire out. His face has some burns too,” Terri says Jody worked hard to try to contain the fire, but it over powered him and they all had to flee the house. Jody was taken to the hospital once emergency crews arrived, “the doctor looked in his mouth and all he saw was black.” Jody had inhaled a lot of smoke in his attempts to put out the flames. “He’s still having a hard time catching his breath, now.”

Luckily, no other members of the family were injured and everyone, including the three cats, were able to get out of the fire alive. Terri says they were very fortunate that the Christmas presents were packed by the front door, since they were traveling to Edmonton first thing in the morning. “I ran in and quickly got all the presents out, then I found my Younique and I got it all out.” Terri runs a home business, selling Younique. Thanks to her quick actions her inventory, displays, and promotional materials were undamaged by the fire.

Living arrangements are unknown to the family at this time, “we haven’t figured something out yet,” says Terri. The family spent Christmas in Edmonton with an older son of Terri’s, then a few days at a local hotel. However, without much savings and no renter’s insurance, the family is running out of money and options. “We’ve basically been couch surfing,” Terri says some friends have opened their doors, but there’s only so long the group can bounce around. Anyone with rental properties, willing to help Terri and her boys please contact LCN and we’ll will pass your info onto the Castles, 780-207-5898 or [email protected] 

“It happened on Christmas Eve, so I didn’t want to say anything to anyone. I didn’t want to make people feel bad, or anything,” thinking of others, Terri tried to keep the news underwraps. But, being the small town that it is, news spread through Elk Point fast and a GoFundMe Page – Terri Castle Christmas Eve Fire was started. The goal is to raise $10,000 for the family. Along with losing many possessions, the family is without a place to rent and did not have renter’s insurance. As of this publication, over $1,200 has been raised for the family.