News Local

Grassfire survivors grateful for community support

 by Twyla Siple, Interlake Spectator

A family that lost their entire home on April 29 in the RM of Armstrong said they want people to respect fire bans. 
 
“Don’t light any fires this time of year because it’s just not the place and the time. It’s too dry and if everybody would just do that, everybody should stay safe,” Dwayne Cheadle told The Interlake Spectator on May 6 in the town of Teulon at one of his friends homes.  
 
Supporters have taken on the family in whatever capacity they can, some taking donations at the school, others have set up GoFundMe pages to help the family collect much needed funds to help them get back on their feet after the devastation that took not only their home, but their pets.
 
“From what we understand it started in the field behind our place, that’s all we know at this point,” Cheadle said.
 
His neighbors home was spared but a few miles north another community member lost his home to the fire that spread with the high winds that were clocked at nearly 70 kilometres per hour. 
 
“If people would just think before they light, you know? Cigarettes out the window? Don’t do that and this kind of stuff wouldn’t happen,” Cheadle said.
 
Their friend Shannon Elizabeth said that the support has been tremendous. 
 
“The support has been overwhelming. We are encouraging people to come out and support this family. It’s a great cause and we are hoping everyone can come out on June 2 and support (them),” Elizabeth said. “If anyone can’t make it, we have support tickets that they can make a donation (with).”
 
Elizabeth said that Cheadle and Slater plan on making a scrap-book with all the support cards in them to commemorate this event in the best way that they can.
 
“It’s been pretty stressful for the three of us, especially our son Carl,” Cheadle said. “The animals died in the house - they couldn’t get out, so - he’s pretty shaken up about that. We (are just going to) find a way to rebuild and carry on - and just, go from there. We hope people learn from this tragedy.” 
 
“I would like to thank my brother in law for letting us stay with him,” Slater said through tears as she offered her gratitude to everyone that has donated their time and resources to assist her family through their ordeal. 
 
Two homes and an eco-village were destroyed by a fast-moving wildfire in the RM of Armstrong April 29. The Myriad Eco-Village and Allen Evanchyshin’s home were also destroyed in the blaze that tore through Komarno.
 
“Thank everybody that supported us so far and we really appreciate and love everyone,” Cheadle said.
 
Help, donate
To donate to the Cheadles, visit gofundme.com/loss-of-shari-and-dwayne039s-home. 
 
You can also purchase support tickets from Kozy’s Productions, Teulon Seniors Resource, Super 7 Highway Service Hwy. 7 and Rosie’s Cafe in Inwood. 
 
Donations for the benefit’s silent auction are being received by at Kozy’s productions and Teulon Senior Resource, or call Barb at 204-886-2570/204-886-0104 or Shannon at 204-861-2500.
 
Burn ban still in effect
The province released it’s Fire Bulletin No. 1 on April 30, stating that Manitoba Sustainable Development has a number of travel restrictions in place and that burning permits remain cancelled for the eastern and central regions of Manitoba due to dry, windy conditions and the high risk of fires.
 
Burning permits are cancelled, but campfires in approved firepits are allowed, and propane or electric grills can be used for cooking.
 
It is an offence to have an outdoor fire in the Burning Permit Area during the wildfire season without a burning permit.
 
You could be liable for the costs of putting out a wildfire if you are found to be burning without a permit. You could be fined up to $10,000  and up to $50,000 for corporations if found guilty of an offence.
 
Check with your local municipal office or visit gov.mb.ca/wildfire/burn_conditions.html for more information. 
 
To report a wildfire, call 911. 


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