Fundraising efforts for Osoyoos family after son dies in house fire

·2 min read

The Osoyoos community is mourning the death of a young man who died on New Year’s Day following a structure fire on 89th Street.

Since this tragedy, local support have been rolling in for the family via online and in-person fundraisers.

Osoyoos Fire Rescue reported that members responded to a fire in the 6400 block of 89th Street at 9:40 p.m. Upon arrival, they observed heavy black smoke coming out of the front door.

Neighbours reported that one member of the family was still in the building. In fact, a family member was trying to re-enter the structure to help a young adult male inside, according to Osoyoos Fire Rescue in a press release.

“Firefighters made a quick entry into the structure to knock down the fire and rescued the young adult male.”

It was reported that the man received immediate medical attention by firefighters in less than three minutes upon arrival. Unfortunately, he suffered extensive burns and trauma, according to fire officials.

Two male residents from the property were transported to hospital, where one, identified as Jasper Brian Braga, better known as JB, succumbed to his injuries. The other man, Braga's father, was placed in intensive care in Kelowna hospital.

Osoyoos Fire Rescue is working with the BC Fire Commissioner and the BC Coroner’s Service to investigate.

Local fire officials say the cause is still undetermined.

“Smoke alarms were activated inside the house and firefighters were able to contain the fire to the room of origin,” said Deputy Fire Chief Tyler Hilland.

The fundraisers are aiming to help the family while they are dealing with the tragedy.

In addition to GoFundMe, Osoyoos Gift Cupboard has set up drop off locations for donations to assist Braga’s family at AG Foods and Osoyoos Nails. Anyone with questions on how to assist, or where to send e-transfer donations, can contact Brenda at 250-498-1261.

“JB was such a kind soul that touched everyone’s hearts,” said Kristen Mason, organizer of the GoFundMe which aims to raise $15,000 for funeral costs and hospital fees, with $4,675 donated as of Jan 4.

“Everyone always got excited when he came walking in (to work at A&W) because he always brought so much joy into work, singing and dancing while cooking; he always made the best out of his time with us. He will always and forever be in our hearts,” Mason wrote on the GoFundMe page.

Like many others, Mason commended Osoyoos Fire Rescue for its tremendous efforts.

“Thank you so much to all the firemen who had to go through this tragic event, we also have you all in our hearts.”

Dale Boyd, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Times-Chronicle