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

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

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

Just Posted

Timeline pushed back for Tofino-Ucluelet highway construction project

Ucluelet mayor Mayco Noel said the ministry’s announcement came as “no surprise.”

Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District adopts 2020 budget in closed-door meeting

The plan shows an overall tax increase of 6.64 percent, applied differently in each electoral area

3-D printer provides PPE for West Coast General Hospital

City of Port Alberni purchases 3-D printers to help with pandemic

Nanaimo, Royal Jubilee to be Vancouver Island’s COVID-19 frontline hospitals

Other Island hospitals will be admitting COVID-19 patients and will be used in a support role

COVID-19: 4 new deaths, 25 new cases but only in Vancouver Coastal, Fraser Health

A total of 1,291 people have tested positive for the novel coronavirus

An ongoing updated list of Alberni Valley events affected by COVID-19

Has your event been cancelled or postponed? Check here

COVID-19: Don’t get away for Easter weekend, Dr. Bonnie Henry warns

John Horgan, Adrian Dix call 130 faith leaders as holidays approach

COVID-19: Trudeau says 30K ventilators on the way; 3.6M Canadians claim benefits

Canada has seen more than 17,000 cases and at least 345 deaths due to COVID-19

Comox spring training cancelled for Snowbirds next month

The team announced that due to ongoing travel restrictions they will not be training in the Valley

Some Cowichan schools to reopen for children of essential-services workers

Cowichan Valley will open 8 elementary schools this week

RCMP call on kids to name latest foal recruits

The baby horses names are to start with the letter ‘S’

Physiotherapists turn to technology to reach patients during COVID-19

Just because services, jobs, and socializing have been put on hold, it… Continue reading

As Canadians return home amid pandemic, border crossings dip to just 5% of usual traffic

Non-commercial land crossing dipped by 95%, air travel dropped by 96 per cent, according to the CBSA

Most Read