Two families are without homes after a duplex fire on Stotlou Crescent Monday morning. (Sarah Simpson/Citizen)

Two Cowichan Tribes families devastated by duplex fire

Carla Sylvester sat in her vehicle, on Tuesday morning, with tears in her eyes and her phone in her hand. It had been just over 24 hours since fire tore through the Stotlou Crescent duplex her family shared with neighbour Rose Coleman and two other elders.

“I’m just waiting for somebody to come and take the wood off [the front door] so I can go upstairs and grab what we need,” she said.

Sylvester and her three children, aged 23, 17, and three, were sleeping when the fire broke out. Their smoke detectors did not sound the alarm. Her youngest daughter is credited with saving the family.

“She woke up to go to the bathroom, that’s how we woke up,” Sylvester explained. “My older daughter turned on the lights for her and then she turned around and looked out her window and the flames were coming down her window.”

Sylvester and her kids raced out of the house.

“I’m thankful me and the kids made it out,” she said, adding that Coleman’s family, including their dog, also made it out safely.

Fire crews arrived on the scene within 20 minutes.

“By the time they got here Rose’s place was already burnt all the way,” Sylvester said. “They were figuring it started from the back and worked its way up.”

Sylvester is hopeful their personal belongings will be replaced and that they’ll find a new roof to live under.

“We’re at the Ramada right now,” she said. “I’m hoping and praying that Cowichan Tribes puts me and my kids in a home until this is demolished and we can figure things out. I’m hoping they have a house open for us.”

Martin Drakeley, North Cowichan’s manager of fire and bylaw services, said crews from North Cowichan’s South End and Maple Bay halls were called out around 5:15 a.m. to put out the massive blaze and they ended up being there for several hours.

“The building itself was a complete loss and there were no injuries,” he confirmed. “The investigation itself is in the hands of the RCMP, only because it’s on federal land.”



sarah.simpson@cowichanvalleycitizen.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

 

A Boys Road duplex was destroyed by fire on Oct. 14. (Bobby Cole photo)

Just Posted

BC Ferries’ newest Island Class vessel is experiencing an issue with one of its thrusters off the Algerian coast. Photo courtesy patbaywebcam.com.
BC Ferries newest vessel having mechanical issues in Mediterranean

Island 4 will be repaired in Spain before crossing Atlantic

A Photo from Sept. 2020, when First Nations and wild salmon advocates took to the streets in Campbell River to protest against open-pen fish farms in B.C.’s waters. On Dec. 17, federal fisheries minister Bernadette Jordan announced her decision to phase out 19 fish farms from Discovery Islands. Cermaq’s application to extend leases and transfer smolts was denied. (Marc Kitteringham/Campbell River Mirror)
Discovery Island fish farms not allowed to restock

Transfer of 1.5 million juvenile salmon, licence extension denied

Craft Brewing and Malting program student Ellie Hadley plans to use her newfound skills and knowledge to set up a distillery in Port Alberni. Photo supplied by NIC
NIC wants to make North Island region a brewing and malting hub

New program grads already entering industry

People line up to get their COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre, Thursday, June 10, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Vaccines, low COVID case counts increase Father’s Day hope, but risk is still there

Expert says people will have to do their own risk calculus before popping in on Papa

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry outlines B.C.’s COVID-19 restart plan, May 25, 2021, including larger gatherings and a possible easing of mandatory masks on July 1. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. records 120 new COVID-19 cases, second vaccines accelerating

Lower Pfizer deliveries for early July, Moderna shipments up

A Heffley Creek peacock caught not one - but two - lifts on a logging truck this month. (Photo submitted)
Heffley Creek-area peacock hops logging trucks in search of love

Peacock hitched two lifts in the past month

The Calgary skyline is seen on Friday, Sept. 15, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
2 deaths from COVID-19 Delta variant in Alberta, 1 patient was fully immunized

Kerry Williamson with Alberta Health Services says the patients likely acquired the virus in the hospital

B.C. Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth and Attorney General David Eby attend opening of the first government-run B.C. Cannabis Store, Kamloops, Oct. 19, 2018. (B.C. government)
B.C. government to allow home cannabis delivery starting July 15

Added convenience expected to persuade buyers to ‘go legal’

The first suspension bridge is the tallest in Canada, with a second suspension bridge just below it. The two are connected by a trail that’s just over 1 km. (Claire Palmer photo)
PHOTOS: The highest suspension bridges in Canada just opened in B.C.

The Skybridge in Golden allows visitors to take in views standing at 130 and 80 metres

BC Green Party leader and Cowichan Valley MLA Sonia Furstenau introduced a petition to the provincial legislature on Thursday calling for the end of old-growth logging in the province. (File photo)
BC Green leader Furstenau introduces old-growth logging petition

Party calls for the end of old-growth logging as protests in Fairy Creek continue

B.C. Premier John Horgan leaves his office for a news conference in the legislature rose garden, June 3, 2020. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. premier roasted for office budget, taxing COVID-19 benefits

Youth addiction law that triggered election hasn’t appeared

A vial containing the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine is shown at a vaccination site in Marcq en Baroeul, outside Lille, northern France, Saturday, March 20, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Michel Spingler
mRNA vaccines ‘preferred’ for all Canadians, including as 2nd dose after AstraZeneca: NACI

New recommendations prioritizes Pfizer, Moderna in almost all cases

Most Read