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Fire breaks out in Campbell River supportive housing complex

Small fire in one unit at Q’waxsem Place on Wednesday
A fire broke out in a suite in the Q’waxsem Place supportive housing building on Dogwood Street in Campbell River on Oct. 27, 2021. Campbell River Fire Rescue photo

A fire broke out in one of the units at the Q’waxsem Place supportive housing complex on Wednesday night.

At around 11:30, Campbell River fire crews responded to a call at the building, and arrived to many residents already evacuated due to the fire alarm. Some smoke was coming from a window on the third floor.

“When crews entered the building they still found a number of occupants inside in units and in the hallways,” said fire chief Thomas Doherty. “They progressed to the third floor with their hose lines and made entry into the unit and found a fire within the unit. The sprinkler system had activated within the unit, which definitely helped in slowing the spread of the fire. Crews actively suppressed the fire and extinguished it. It was contained to that unit. There was a little bit of smoke damage to the unit as well as some water damage.”

There were 47 people in the building at the time of the fire. A transit bus was brought to the scene to keep people out of the rain.

”We were able to ventilate the smoke out and clear any CO levels that might have been in there. We were fortunate to be able to let the occupants return, with the exception of the people in the damaged unit,” Doherty said.

Q’waxsem Place staff found an alternative location for the occupants of the unit.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation. Doherty said that the units do have cook tops.

This is not the first call to the complex. Doherty said that roughly 70 calls have come from Q’waxsem Place since it opened, the majority of which were for fire alarms.

“About 67 per cent of the calls are related to fire in some way, whether it’s a fire alarm, cooking or smoking,” he said. “The other percentages are related to overdose or medical response.”

No injuries were reported in Wednesday’s incident.

Doherty took the time to remind people to check their smoke alarm batteries, saying that next weekend’s clock change can be a good reminder to do so.

RELATED: Campbell River supportive housing project named by incoming residents

Carihi students and staff welcome Q’waxsem Place residents to the neigbourhood

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