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2014-03-04 at 11:11

Looking for help

By Jodi Lundmark,
St. Joseph FoundationGrand A Day Draw tickets are now on sale. $1,000 daily draws in November. Grand Prize draw is for $10,000. License #M738339Click Here

A local family is looking to the community for help after their home was destroyed by fire last month.

Ashley Kivari had a candle lit when she was meditating on Feb. 1 in her family's Ogden Street home. She heard her two young daughters playing downstairs and went down to check on them.

"She ran up the stairs, saw the place engulfed, ran downstairs and took the children and ran outside," said her stepfather Jim Chichka.

The family of four lost almost everything on the second storey of their home, including a family pet.

And due to an error by Kivari and her partner Aaron Babula, they have no insurance to help them rebuild.

Friends and family have helped out, but if the couple doesn't raise $13,000 by March 12, they could lose their home.

Chichka said the family is staying with them for the time being, but the family is devastated by the loss.

"The kids are crying because they were scared. Ashley and Aaron are crying because they don't know if they're going to be able to keep their home," he said.

The couple decided to fight to keep their home because mortgage on a starter home is cheaper than the cost of a rental unit for a family of four and it's all they can afford on their incomes. But that mortgage is due on March 12.

Chichka said he doesn't know what they'll do if they can't raise the money.

"We have to put the house back together for them. There is no other option," he said. "They can't afford to live elsewhere. We're going to keep appealing to friends and family and whoever can to help us."

Family friend Sherri Appleton has started a fundraising drive to help the family. She's set up an account people can donate to at the Northern Credit Union.

"We are asking for the public to step in and help. It's not a family that's used to asking for people to step in and help but the need is too quick and too immediate for us not to ask," she said.

They've raised about $1,400 so far and in addition to cash, donations of bedroom and bathroom accessories are welcome. People can also donate their time and skills to helping with the rebuild.

For more information, people can contact Appleton at

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