Mid-Island woman saved from burning home by couple


Stacy Duchscherer and his wife, Kim, never thought they’d be saving a neighbour’s life Monday morning when they decided on a whim to check on their home under renovation in Hilliers, a community west of Parksville.

“We were just driving around Qualicum Beach and said let’s go check on the house,” said Stacy.

They pulled into their Rinvold Road address when they noticed smoke across the street.

“Usually the guy in the back property is burning garbage, so I just assumed that’s what was going on,” said Stacy.

“But something just felt different and we waited just a second and watched and it changed quickly, and we knew that just doesn’t look right at all,” added Kim.

Stacy walked down the side of the house and realized it was on fire. He then entered through a back door.

“So I walked into the, I don’t know what part of the house it was even, and I yelled, ‘Is anybody in here?’ and I heard a small little ‘help’ in a back corner of the room and I was like holy sh** this is real,” he said.

He didn’t see any flames but he did hear the fire crackling and the home was rapidly filling with smoke.

“So I started walking to where I heard the ‘help’ but couldn’t see anything. I’m feeling in front of me and then all of a sudden she’s right there in front of me and I saw her face. It was all black with black going up her nostrils and she looked all red on her face and when we got out we saw that she was burned and had singed hair,” he said.

He handed the elderly woman off to Kim who had gone into the house through the front door.

With little time to spare, Kim brought the woman outside to safety.

“I’d say she had three or four minutes before being overtaken by the fumes,” added Stacy.

“It was gut wrenching,” said Kim. “Yeah, just the thought of not being able to get her out was gut wrenching, but we weren’t leaving without her.”

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Stacy and Kim Duchscherer are pictured beside the scene of the fire. (CHEK NEWS)

Another stroke of good luck is that Stacy just happened to have his prosthetic leg on, otherwise he might not have been quick enough.

“Ninety per cent of the time I’m in my wheelchair, so I just happened to have my leg on because the home was being renovated, otherwise I mean it would have taken me five minutes to get out here. So it was just luck that we were here, we weren’t supposed to be, there’s nobody around, she would have perished,” said Stacy.

The woman’s husband arrived home to find fire trucks and his wife in an ambulance. Gail Beeston was taken to hospital and has been released.

Firefighters responded within minutes and doused the fire, but the damage inside is extensive.

The couple does have insurance, but they’ve lost everything.

Friends have now started a GoFundMe page to help the couple recover.

Dean StoltzDean Stoltz

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