Rising Above the Flames: John Decoste’s Kelowna Wildfire Experience

Sep 26, 2023

In the serene setting overlooking the stunning Okanagan Lake, John Decoste’s life took an unexpected turn when the Kelowna wildfire flared up just last month. As Business Development Manager for MyKey Global Accommodations, throughout his 25+ year career, John has become known across the industry for his enduring dedication and affection for those he has assisted in finding temporary housing; especially in emergency situations. All the while spent assisting other families, John always approached the situation with the mindset: “What if this was my family?” And then one day it was.

John Decoste’s remarkable story unfolds during a recent interview where he shared his harrowing experience during the Kelowna wildfire incident that shook the region. The day began like any other, with the Decoste family enjoying the serenity of their lakeside home. However, as the sun dipped below the horizon, an eerie shift in the atmosphere took hold.


“As soon as it got windy, and within a 10 to 15-minute span, the wind swirled, and in literally just within that time the cloud tripled in size. The whole thing just became a huge volcano in the sky,” John recalled. He realized the gravity of the situation and looked at his wife, saying, “We got to pack. This is not normal.” It was a moment of clarity that would define his actions in the coming hours.


What sets John Decoste apart, beyond his professional expertise, is his unwavering commitment to his family’s safety. In the midst of chaos and urgency, he exhibited the true essence of putting others’ needs first. “I had everything by the time we were in the garage, packed everything I could for my family and realized I forgot to pack my stuff because I was so focused on making sure my family is safe,” he admitted, emphasizing the paramount importance of his loved ones’ well-being.

Thankfully, the Decoste family managed to escape the wildfire’s fury unscathed. However, the same could not be said for numerous others in the Kelowna community. The wildfire left a trail of destruction, reducing countless properties to ashes. As a testament to MyKey’s commitment to service and its mission to provide a home away from home, John stepped up to assist.


“We have family in town, so I did not use MyKey obviously, but from a lot of people that I met and from the stories, the horror stories that we heard, people could not find accommodations,” John explained, highlighting the situation that unfolded during the prime tourism season. MyKey promptly swung into action, working tirelessly to find accommodation solutions for those displaced by the wildfire. It is heartening to note that no lives were lost during the Kelowna wildfire, thanks to the swift coordination and efforts of organizations and authorities.

In times of crisis, the importance of having a reliable partner like MyKey, with its unwavering dedication to providing comfortable and secure accommodations, cannot be overstated. John’s experience during the wildfire serves as a powerful reminder of the resilience and compassion that lie at the core of MyKey Global Accommodations. With individuals like John leading the way, MyKey remains committed to putting others’ needs first and ensuring that, no matter the circumstances, a welcoming and secure place to stay is always within reach.

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