British Columbia

Family's 'dream home' lost in wildfire near Monte Lake, B.C.

Adrian Conradi says his brother and sister in law had just moved into their dream home near Monte Lake in March.

Shane Robertson's home reduced to 'burning embers,' brother says

Shane Robertson, wife Tobin Doyle Stuart and their young children lost their home near Monte Lake July 26, 2017. (GoFundMe)

A family of four has lost their dream home and all their possessions in the wildfire burning near Monte Lake, B.C.

When the fire started Shane Robertson was working in the bush, out of cell phone range, Robertson's brother, Adrian Conradi, told Radio West host Josh Pagé.

Robertson's wife, Tobin Doyle Stuart, was visiting the Conradi home in Kamloops with the couple's two small children when she received a text message about a fire near their home.

"She didn't realize the severity," Conradi said. 

Robertson was able to reach their property on foot near midnight Wednesday.

"He hiked several kilometres up the hill to find his home was just burning embers," Conradi said.

The Monte Lake wildfire is now 150 hectares. (Tina Lovgreen/CBC)

As of Saturday the Monte Lake wildfire covered 150 hectares and was 30 per cent contained, according to fire officials. 

The B.C. Wildfire web page says a number of structures have been impacted, but doesn't list the number or type.

Conradi said he tried to reach the house himself, earlier Wednesday, to retrieve an emergency bag the couple had packed with important documents. But he encountered a wall of smoke near the property.

"I realized I'm certainly not going to risk my life for a bag with documents in it," he said.

'This was the dream home'

"This was the dream home my brother had been searching for," Conradi said. "They just bought the property on his 35th birthday."

He described the location as a gem: "This gorgeous lake filled with kokanee right on the side of the highway."

His brother and sister-in-law's property was at the top of the hill overlooking the lake. 

Close to 60 properties have been evacuated and dozens more have been put on evacuation alert. (Tina Lovgreen/CBC)

The reality is starting to sink in, Conradi said, as they start looking for a temporary place to stay and determining what losses will be covered by their insurance.

He said they do not know if they will rebuild on the charred home site. 

"You're talking to your loved ones, your dear little brother and you're saying there's nothing that can be done," Conradi said.

"It's an opportunity for a fresh start."