Plans are in the works to organize support for a local resident whose home was severely damaged by a fire earlier this week.
A fundraiser featuring Papa Josh is scheduled for The Pony on the evening of Jan. 12 to help Nick Antonelli, whose Pemberton Meadows Road home burned on Monday evening (Dec. 31).
Antonelli has been staying with friends since the fire while salvaging what belongings he can from the house. He declined an interview with The Question but offered thanks via a spokesperson to all who have provided help so far.
“We had guys there all day yesterday, and we’ll have them there today and tomorrow just helping the owner go through and try to retrieve whatever personal valuables can be rescued,” Pemberton fire chief Russell Mack said Wednesday (Jan. 2).
“It was a very sad situation.”
Mack said fire crews arrived at the house, located a short distance past Kia Ora Court, shortly after the call came in around 5:30 p.m. on Monday and needed until almost midnight to extinguish the blaze.
“It was a very old, old home, probably in the 80-year-old range,” said Mack. “An old house with sawdust in the walls for insulation and that kind of thing, so there was a huge fire load.”
Staff Sgt. Steve LeClair of the Whistler RCMP said that an examination of the scene indicated a wood-burning stove as the source of the fire.
The event being planned for Jan. 12 has come together quickly, as Papa Josh offered his show already scheduled for that day as a way of helping Antonelli. The local musician said he was once neighbours with Antonelli and felt compelled to help out an individual who was very kind to him when he lived in the Meadows.
“He’s a really awesome guy,” he said. “It’s really a sad story.”
Donations are being accepted on Antonelli’s behalf in advance of the Jan. 12 event. Contact Tyranne Yorke on Facebook or at 604-902-7200 for more information.