A house on Caledonia Avenue in Victoria was damaged by a fire on April 20. A GoFundMe has been started for the home’s impacted family. (Kiernan Green/News Staff)

A house on Caledonia Avenue in Victoria was damaged by a fire on April 20. A GoFundMe has been started for the home’s impacted family. (Kiernan Green/News Staff)

Fundraiser started for Ukrainian pastor’s family after house fire suspected of arson

Members of Victoria-based family injured escaping from early morning fire

Thousands of dollars have been raised in less than a day after a fire badly damaged the Victoria home of a Ukrainian pastor and his family.

The family of the five managed to escape the early morning fire, believed to be arson, Wednesday (April 20), but one daughter was seriously injured after being cut by broken glass while she fled out the upper-floor window. After being treated on-scene and at the hospital, her injuries are now considered non-life-threatening.

Ukrainian Catholic Church of St. Nicholas pastor Yuriy Vyshnevskyy’s wife also needed to be rescued by firefighters from the perch of the home’s second-floor window. Victoria police are currently seeking more information from the public as the arson investigation continues.

The Ukrainian Cultural Centre of Victoria has started a GoFundMe to support the family after saying its local community was “shocked and saddened by the outrageous act.” The online fund had raised more than $16,000 and was growing quickly Thursday morning.

Board member Andriy Fabrikov said the money raised will go toward getting the family necessities such as food and clothing. Firefighters estimate the damage to the home ranged from $400,000 to $500,000.

After entering the home, fire crews discovered what appeared to be the lifeless body of the family’s cat. They were able to revive the animal by using a pet oxygen mask and it is now recovering in the Victoria veterinary hospital, Deputy Chief Dan Atkinson said on Wednesday.

The cultural centre said the fundraiser will also go toward supporting the cat.

The fundraiser can be found at bit.ly/3EOvlPr.

READ: Arson suspected as Ukrainian pastor’s Victoria home burns with family inside


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