Joy Roshinsky lost the Genelle home she shared with her husband Ron in a fire on Tuesday, Oct. 15. Today, she spoke with the Castlegar News and provided further details about the incident, describing how she and her husband managed to get themselves out of the burning home.
When asked how she was doing, she said, “Well, we are surviving. It’s unbelievable how you can lose everything in a matter of 20 minutes.”
When the fire started, Roshinsky said Ron found one of their two dogs and threw it out the window to safety.
“He had to get out the window,” she said. “He punched the window out so he could bend the bars over wide enough for him to get out. That’s how he cut his arm and fingers.”
She said Ron went flying out, falling on his face. She was in a bedroom and was going to go look for her other dog but by then the smoke was only about a foot off the floor.
“I had two great big gasps and thought if I don’t get out right now, I’m not going to get out,” she said. “So, I turned around and went to the window. Ron was getting up and I said, ‘You have to catch me,’ and he caught me and that’s when we ran around the front of the trailer.”
Roshinsky said she grabbed her purse and the house phone on the way out. She said she called 9-1-1 before that, providing the operator with the address but threw the phone before the call was transferred to fire dispatch.
“I just threw the phone; I don’t have time,” she said. “We’ve got to get out of here. We had no other way out than that bedroom window.”
She said when she got around to the front of the home, she saw the front of the home in flames and got inside her vehicle to move it. That’s when she said a guy yelled at her to get out of the car and she did so while Ron moved a truck out of the way. She said the man who yelled for her to get out took her keys and moved the vehicle away from the home.
Roshinsky called it “unbelievable” that the ambulance was there ahead of the fire trucks.
“I’d say it took them a half hour,” she said. “The ambulance was there in 10 minutes.”
She also said when the ambulance arrived another lady at the scene moved the vehicles farther up the block.
Roshinsky said she asked the man who moved the car if she could borrow a cell phone to call her daughter. Before giving her the phone, she said he asked if it was a long distance call.
Roshinsky said she and her husband are staying with their daughter in downtown Castlegar until they can find new accommodation.
The couple, longtime residents of the area, has another daughter who lives in Brilliant. They had been living near the Columbia River at #73, 500 16th Avenue in Genelle for the past two years.
Earlier today, Roshinsky said she asked a fireman to see if he could possibly try to locate a small bowl with a lid and shells on the top.
“In that bowl were two USB drives,” she said. “I said, ‘If you can possibly find them, I would really like them — they have all my pictures and my family tree on them.'”
As they were having coffee at a neighbours later, the fireman knocked on the door to say that he had found the drives. She said she had thousands of pictures on them and hopes they are able to be recovered. She is also a painter and lost a number of her paintings.
At this point, Roshinsky said investigators have told her they believe the fire possibly started in the dryer vent.