Family displaced by fire

Anyone wanting to help with donations towards a longer hotel stay, food or leads on appropriate rentals can call 250-681-4101.

A Port Alberni Fire Department firefighter looks for hot spots at a house fire on Morton Street in the early hours of Nov. 10

A house fire in the 4600 block of Morton Street that broke out in the very early morning hours of Nov. 10 has displaced a family of five.

“The call came in as a chimney fire at 1:39 a.m.,” said Port Alberni fire Chief Tim Pley.

“It started out in the chimney and it got into the attic.”

The fire occurred because in older homes, current building codes that specify clearance between a heat source and wood were not yet implemented.

“The fire was caused by heat transfer from the chimney to the structure,” said Pley.

“So over time it pyrolyzed.”

Pley said that while the fire avoided doing extensive damage to the living space, the residents are unlikely to be able to return for some time.

“We currently are not allowed back in the house because it’s not safe, not even for shoes,” said Jessie Rowland, one of the home’s five residents.

“We have no idea when we will be allowed back.”

The family, which rented the home, did not have contents insurance on their belongings, she said.

Rowland and her family are currently staying at a motel but only the first few nights are paid for. After that, the family of five and their two dogs and one cat will have to find a new place to stay.

“We have to find another place to rent so if anyone knows of anyone willing to rent out a four-bedroom house that allows animals…” she added.

“My sister broke her foot on Sunday meaning she cannot work so we’re in a tough spot.”

Anyone wanting to help with donations towards a longer hotel stay, food or leads on appropriate rentals can call Rowland at 250-681-4101.

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