That is the word, heavy with grief, Neil Lyne used to describe losing his only sibling, his sister Melissa Lyne, in a trailer fire in Boyle Dec. 18.
Speaking from his Vancouver Island home, Neil reminisced about his younger sister who was born Oct. 1, 1978. Melissa loved movies and dreamed about travelling he said.
“She liked watching lots of movies. Me and her watched tons of movies and we always talked about different movies we watched,” Neil stated. “She liked traveling and stuff too. She never had the means to do it.”
Melissa was identified on social media by friends and family as the woman found in the Dec. 18 fire at the Aspen Grove Trailer Park. The Boyle, Athabasca and Colinton fire departments all responded to the 5:40 a.m. blaze that destroyed the trailer, a truck and damaged two other vehicles parked nearby.
Neil laughed talking about how his sister liked all sorts of movies from action to “girly flicks” to Disney classics and that he didn’t know her favourite music because he always made her listen to his when they were together.
The bulk of Melissa’s travelling took her around Alberta looking for work after moving from Williams Lake, B.C. six years ago. She had lived several places in Alberta but felt Boyle was the right place for her, especially after getting a job with Canada Post.
“She'd just done her probationary period,” Neil said. “She was really excited about that.”
Neil said Melissa had three daughters, all living in B.C. — two are on their own and the youngest is living with her father.
Melissa’s mother, Maria Roberts, passed away six years ago in Sakegate B.C. but her father Clifton Lyne still lives in Williams Lake. With 20 siblings between her parents alone Melissa’s family is large, but she made her mark on them.
“Melissa was always laughing, she always listened to what you had to say and had comforting words. She had a big heart and asked for nothing,” Neil said. “She was so strong for everyone especially me. My family and I miss her greatly. It’s going to be tough not being able to talk to her.”
RCMP Media Relations Group Corp. Laurel Scott stated Dec. 30 there was “no update” on the investigation. Neil would not talk about details of the ongoing investigation.
Two weeks before the fire, Neil had convinced Melissa to leave her long-time boyfriend and move back to B.C.
“We had her out of there until she..,she was almost gone,” Neil said, trailing off, emotion thick in his voice. “She was stopped by a police roadblock for drinking and driving (and) they gave her a 24-hour (suspension) and sent her back, told her to go home or whatever. She was on her way to Vancouver Island to come live with me.”
Now the family is trying to get Melissa’s remains back to Williams Lake for burial and Melissa’s cousin, Lisa Pinder of Boyle has set up a Go Fund Me account.
“I wasn't expecting any of this; like any help from anyone,” Neil said. “It was pretty stressful at first, but yeah, this is making things a lot easier.”
You can help get Melissa back to B.C. by donating at https://www.gofundme.com/f/funeral-for-melissa-lyne-and-help-her-children