Crowdfunding effort underway to support university staff member who lost house to fire

Members of the TRU community are opening their wallets after a fire claimed the home of a TRU Open Learning director on Nov. 7.

Brian Lamb, TRU Open Learning director of innovation, was in Australia at the time of the fire, attending meetings of the Open Educational Resources University, a project launched at TRU last year to create a cohesive international learning environment online.

Lamb’s wife and son were home when the fire broke out, but were able to escape with only minor injuries. The family’s dog Dexter did not escape the blaze and most of the family’s possessions were lost.

“The house is a total write-off,” said Ed Lund, head of the Paul Lake Fire Protection Association.

The Paul Lake Fire Protection Association responded to the fire at about 1 a.m. on Nov. 7. Lund said he was told that a house was burning down by a friend who, in turn, had heard about it from another friend on the north shore of the lake.

“We did it with just some borrowed pumps and stuff like that. We’re not authorized to go over to that side of the lake because it’s out of jurisdiction,” Lund said.

He added that there is no fire protection on the north side of Paul Lake.

“As a community, we feel horrible,” said Ronda Olds, TRU Open Learning assistant to director of curriculum development. “We just feel devastated for what their family is going through and just want them to be encouraged by the people who care for them.”

Clint Lalonde, open learning manager for BCcampus, posted on online fundraiser in support of the Lamb family on Nov. 11. On Nov. 14, TRU interim vice-provost Katherine Sutherland circulated an email to the TRU community, urging them to contribute to the campaign.

The fundraiser has collected more than $6,000 in its first five days.

fundrazr_qrcode“I think TRU and the Kamloops community and the Paul Lake community are made up of people with incredible hearts that care about the health and wellbeing of our comrades, and it just encourages me to know that this is where I live and these are the ways people are willing to help to support our own,” Olds said.

The online campaign is available on FundRazr, a Canadian crowdfunding site, at or by scanning the QR code in this article. Olds is also collecting gift cards and donations on behalf of the Lamb family and can be reached at 250-828-6851.