Apartment 302 is in ruins following a fire Tuesday night at a 14-unit complex on 7th Ave. The resident’s cat died in the blaze.

Families flee apartment fire

A dozen families are searching for new accommodations after fire forced them out of their apartments Tuesday night.

A dozen families are searching for new accommodations after fire forced them out of their apartments Tuesday night.

“I feel bad for them, my tenants are important,” said Leila Duncan, who handles property management at the four-storey apartment located at 826-7th Ave.

It was shortly before 10:30 p.m. on Tuesday when fire crews responded to the blaze in unit 302. The tenant apparently had left something cooking on the stove and had fallen asleep when the fire started. When firefighters arrived, flames were engulfing the unit, venting out the back patio door and extending to the fourth floor balcony.

“The crew captain immediately initiated an exterior knock down of the flames while the other crew members made entry into the building to search for tenants and to make an interior attack on the fire,” said Fire Chief Dean Spry.

The resident in 302 made it out of her unit, but her pet cat did not and died in the fire.

The woman was suffering from smoke inhalation and was found in the hallway by a man visiting another apartment. He managed to get her outside to safety and she was taken to hospital where she was treated and later released.

But the drama wasn’t over.

A man and his young daughter, also on the third floor, couldn’t make it out due to the smoke and retreated to the balcony. They were rescued by firefighters who extended a ladder to the balcony.

Twenty-five firefighters, from both fire halls, fought the blaze and managed to contain it to the one apartment which was gutted. However, many of the other apartments were damaged by smoke and water, and residents cannot return until restorations are completed. A city bus was brought up to the complex which the 24 residents used as a temporary shelter. They were later taken to a nearby motel to spend the next few nights.

But Duncan is concerned about where they will go next. Many of the residents are on social

assistance and it is believed that none of them had renter’s insurance on their belongings.

“I feel badly for that family,” said Duncan, after speaking to a First Nations man and his wife outside the apartment the next day. “They’re really nice people and they were taking care of their grandparents.”

The fire is also a blow to the property owner who invested a considerable amount of money to renovate the building over the past two years. Twelve of the 14 units had been completely renovated with new flooring, fixtures, appliances and fresh paint. Residents were able to return to retrieve clothing and personal items, but it’s unknown when they can return.

Just Posted

Families learn to navigate the perils of the Internet

Speaker talks to Campbell River kids, parents about staying safe in a social media world

‘Priceless’ hat stolen from Indigenous art store in Campbell River during break-in

Ernie Smith, co-owner of Awatin Aboriginal Art, looking for help in recovering stolen hat

Vancouver measles outbreak prompts vaccine vigilance on Island

No cases here yet, but Island health authorities push measles vaccinations - and not just for kids

BC Hydro increasing flow down Elk Falls to assist steelhead migration and spawning

Water flows within Elk Falls Canyon are increasing today to assist steelhead… Continue reading

B.C. BUDGET: Surplus $374 million after bailouts of BC Hydro, ICBC

Growth projected stronger in 2020, Finance Minister Carole James says

Students give two thumbs up to no more B.C. student loan interest

Eliminating the loan interest charges could save the average graduate $2,300 over 10 years

Ontario man accused of killing 11-year-old daughter dies in hospital, police say

Roopesh Rajkumar had been hospitalized with what police described as a self-inflicted gunshot wound

Manitoba ‘pauses’ link with ex-B.C. premier Gordon Campbell after allegations

Campbell had been hired to review two major hydro projects

City of Port Alberni cancels tourist train operations for 2019

Steam train to McLean Mill is out of commission for repairs; city wants to re-examine rail costs

Heritage minute features Japanese-Canadian baseball team, internment

The Vancouver Asahi baseball team won various championships across the Pacific Northwest

UPDATE: Woman, off-duty cop in critical condition after stabbing outside B.C. elementary school

The officer was interceding in an alleged assault when he and the woman were stabbed

$10-a-day child care not in 2019 budget, but advocate not irked

Sharon Gregson with the Coalition of Child Care Advocates of B.C. says NDP on track to deliver promise

B.C. Seniors Advocate questions labour shortage in care homes

Are there really no workers, or are care aide wages too low?

B.C. business groups worry about looming economic decline in wake of NDP budget

The party’s second government budget focused on plenty of spending, business advocates say

Most Read