Survivors of Lytton, B.C., fire grapple with a new reality: most of their town is gone

Cle-Ann Coghlan and her family are safe in Lillooet but their house in Lytton, B.C., is gone.

“I don’t feel like I’ve even processed or even gotten to the point where I can feel that sadness,” she told CTV News Vancouver. “Because I’m just trying to make sure that each day is good for the kids.”

CTV News obtained exclusive video on the ground in Lytton, showing the destruction the fire left in its wake. Next to nothing is left standing in the town after a fire roared through Wednesday, which gave residents just minutes to pack and get out.

“I do miss my Pokémon cards and my stuffies,” said Anniah Coghlan, Cle-Ann’s seven-year-old daughter.

Brandon Flaig and his family were driving on Highway 1 near Lytton, on their way to their cabin, when they noticed a train on fire Wednesday afternoon.

“There was a rail cart full of lumber,” he said, and both the bridge and train car were on fire.

“It was right in the middle of the bridge so it was hard to access right?”

The cause of the Lytton fire is still under investigation, but Flaig said this one happened at about 3:20pm Wednesday about 10 or 15 kilometres from Lytton, just north of Boston Bar.

“Not 100 per cent (sure) that (it was) the fire that went to Lytton, but it was pretty obvious with the way the wind was blowing, it was heading that way,” he said.

The death toll remains at two, and the BC Coroners service told CTV News that it hasn’t had any new reports of deaths.

The mayor and province are still trying to get a handle on how many people are missing. They’re asking all evacuees to register so they can count. More than 1,000 people were forced to evacuate the town.

The Lytton Creek fire is still classified as out of control and as of Saturday afternoon was more than 8,700 hectares.

“We are expecting continued growth, despite the heat dome dissipating, we are still seeing those hot interior summer temperatures, accompanied with wind ... which makes firefighting efforts challenging,” said Jean Strong, fire information officer.

A gofundme page has been set up for the Coghlan family, to help them put their lives back together. There are several other gofundme pages for other groups and families, as well as a general fund for Lytton residents.

“We love our town so we hope to get back there,” Coghlan said.