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BC firefighting couple saves their home

Lara and Tristan pose together in their firefighting gearWhen Lara Agapow and Tristan Vander Klok drove into Williams Lake early one day in July, they had no idea what the next few weeks would have in store for them.

“We went to town to drop off my wedding dress and rings to get resized,” says Lara.

They had just moved to the area two weeks ago and live about an hour’s drive west of Williams Lake.

The couple, both firefighters, were planning to get married on August 19th. Fifty of their closest friends and family were coming in from as far away as Germany.

 “As we were driving back home, we saw the fire,” says Tristan.

When they got to their ranch, they saw how close it was.

 “We ended up fighting the fire near our house for four or five days, just the three of us, me, Lara and Lara’s dad,” says Tristan. “There were no other resources there yet besides us.”

To top it off they have a 4-year-old daughter Madison, and Lara is three-months pregnant.

“We left Madison with my mom and I checked with my doctor first to make sure everything would be OK,” says Lara.

Two more people came to help, and then the local band.

“We fought the fire with shovels, a 350-gallon water tank on a truck, two quads, water packs and some shovels,” says Tristan. “We used the water from the hot tub, bathed in it as well and filtered the water and drank it. We used water out of the river to fight the fire.”

They had no power for five days.

“We watched the fire jump, we could hear it roar,” says Tristan.

They were eventually evacuated, but they could still see their house from where they were. It survived.   
Today they’re in Williams Lake registering with the Red Cross in order to receive assistance. They also came to see if they could pick up Lara’s wedding dress, but the woman they left it with also evacuated, and they can’t get a hold of her. They also haven’t gone yet to see if they can get their rings.

“I don’t know if I have a dress, I don’t know if I have a ring, but we’re still getting married as planned,” says Lara.

The wedding will be much smaller though, just the immediate family.  

“We’re getting married at our place; you can see the black line of where the fire went to from there,” says Lara. “We’re thinking of taking pictures on our wedding day across the river to where we fought the fire to pose with our axe and shovels.”

Since the fires broke out, they’ve both been working 14 days on and three days off. They’re even planning to work on their wedding day.

 “We’re working the morning, getting married at 2pm, and working the two days after,” says Tristan.

They’re also looking forward to meeting the newest member of the family.

“We will definitely have a good story to tell,” says Lara. 
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