Firefighters enter a residence in a housing complex on Gertrude Street on Saturday, July 25, 2020 to check for hot spots after a two-storey unit was discovered full of smoke and flame. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)

Fire damages unit in Port Alberni townhouse complex

One resident treated for smoke inhalation as family escapes blaze

One person was sent to hospital after a fire in a housing complex on Gertrude Street in Port Alberni July 25, 2020.

Fire crews from Port Alberni, Beaver Creek and Sproat Lake responded to a call at about 4:30 p.m. that a unit in a multi-family townhouse complex was burning. “We arrived on scene to heavy smoke and fire showing from one of the units,” Port Alberni Fire Dept. Chief Mike Owens said.

“The duty crew went in an aggressively attacked the fire and managed to keep it to the unit of origin,” he added. “The heaviest fire involvement when we arrived on the scene was on the second floor.”

One person who was in the suite at the time was treated for smoke inhalation; the unit housed a family of four, Owens said.

READ: Six people escape as fire consumes residence in Port Alberni complex

A GoFundMe campaign has been set up for the family that lost “everything” in the fire. The campaign, organized by Stella Peters, is raising funds to replace the items that were lost, including clothing, linens, furniture and food items. The fundraiser can be found at

By 5:30 p.m. the fire was essentially out and crews were mopping up at the site. Traffic was blocked in both directions on Gertrude Street for at least an hour, as there were various fire trucks, ambulances and police cars at the scene. Beaver Creek Volunteer Fire Dept. members had been doing some training in the area, while Sproat Lake VFD members were responding to a first responder call and were heading into their firehall, so they sent a crew to assist as well.

Port Alberni fire crews had just wrapped up putting out a small fire at Dry Creek Park when they were called to the housing complex, Owens said.

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A firefighter comes down from checking the roof of a housing complex at the north end of Gertrude Street following a fire in one of the units, Saturday, July 25, 2020. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)

Fire Chief Mike Owens is with the Port Alberni Fire Department. (July 25, 2020) (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)

A fundraiser has been started for the family that lost their home in a fire on Saturday, July 25. (PHOTO SUBMITTED)

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