Family thankful for support after devastating fire


By Eoin Devereux

The Neepawa Banner

There have been a few sleepless nights for Marijka Kostenchuk recently after a fire unexpectedly struck her reflexology and massage therapy clinic in Neepawa. 

Kostenchuk said the fire itself likely occurred late Friday evening or early Saturday morning. The initial investigation suggests it may have started in a dryer near an office and was contained to a single room. Kostenchuk stressed however that the residual damage from the blaze took a much larger and devastating toll.

“There was about four inches of water and a lot of smoke. What happened was the waterline melted and sprayed the fire out for hours. The back room itself, where the fire started, was completely destroyed but the fire rated tiles and walls saved my building,” said Kostenchuk. “But the worst damage is from smoke and water. I still have the structure but we lost 100 per cent of the contents.”

After the initial shock subsided, Kostenchuk noted it was time to get to work and start cleaning up the damage. She expected that would be a long and stressful experience. What it turned into however, was an example of our community at its best.

“I made one or two phone calls to friends, who then phoned a lot of people. And I made a call out to Springhill Colony and just said ‘I need help.’ And, they were there and they were simply phenomenal,” said Kostenchuk. “There was probably about half a dozen from Springhill who came and there was no questions. They dropped everything and just came out to assist. It saved my structure, because the water damage would have kept going and going. They arrived, as did Jason Doerksen. I didn’t call him personally. Friends of ours phoned and he came, he showed up, phoned his crew. They were in there and had every carpet ripped up. They all worked so hard and there was no thought of anything else. Just ‘We’re here to help you.’ Simply amazing.”

Kostenchuk also singled out Jim Beaumont for his assistance by bringing a sewer truck and extracting the excess water from the building. While this outpouring of initial aid from the community has been a tremendous assist, Kostenchuk said they are still facing an uphill battle to get the business up and operational once again.

“Right now, I have to just start over from scratch. I need to find a location to work out of. I’m in the process of trying to get that underway,” said Kostenchuk. “I’ll be back to work as soon as I can because that’s what I do best. I love my job. My clientele is my family.  Really my extended family and I’ll do whatever I can to get up and going as soon as possible in a new location and move forward.”