Firefighters from around the Alberni Valley work to extinguish a fifth wheel trailer that caught on fire after another blaze leveled a house on the same Elkford Road property

Young family loses everything in Alberni house fire

Casey Stubbs and her husband's grandmother were folding laundry when they saw thick black smoke coming from under a bedroom door.

“Oh, my God, it’s gone.”

Lorne Stubbs’ wife Casey stood across the street from her home on Elkford Road on Tuesday afternoon as nearly a dozen firefighters trained multiple hoses on the remains of the house she and her husband were renting. There was nothing left of the home or its garage except for a smoking hull. A fifth wheel trailer was ablaze next to a large stand of trees. Two vehicles were burned beyond repair in the driveway.

Casey and Lorne’s grandmother, Karen Brown, noticed the fire while they were folding laundry in one of the bedrooms earlier in the afternoon.

“She noticed it,” Brown said of Casey. “We could see black smoke coming…we opened the door and closed it really quickly. It was so hot.”

She said she told Casey to grab the three children and get out of the house. “I knew there was no chance of getting anything out of there. It was get the kids and get out,” Brown related.

Port Alberni Fire Chief Tim Pley said the house was fully engulfed when firefighters arrived on scene. “The challenge is it’s a hot day and there’s no firefighting water up here. They’re not on municipal water,” he said. Elkford Road is in Cherry Creek, part of the Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District.

When the 911 call came in, Brick immediately asked for mutual aid from Port Alberni Fire Department. He said Cherry Creek’s volunteer department was short on available members due to holidays and the time of day—mid-afternoon.

“When we got (there) we dumped all the water we had to set the fire back because it was up in the trees,” Pley said. Then volunteer fire departments from Cherry Creek, Beaver Creek and Sproat Lake used their tenders, or water trucks, to bring water from the nearest hydrants near Alberni Towing at the bottom of the west side of the Hump to fill two large bladders, and water from the bladders was subsequently pumped up Elkford Road to fire trucks at the scene.

The Wildfire Management Branch sent 10 people from the Port Alberni-based Thunderbird unit as well as a three-person initial attack crew and an officer from the Coastal Fire Centre in Parksville to check for hot spots in the trees behind the burning house.

Cherry Creek deputy fire chief Brian Brick said the fire seems to have started in a bedroom. Firefighters were still busy knocking down flames late in the afternoon and Brick said there would be no more answers on the fire until at least tomorrow.

 

Edited: Helicopter circling the site was not one from Coastal Fire Centre.

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

Just Posted

West Coast Trail to remain closed for now

Federal government won’t open world-famous trek until its First Nations are ready for visitors

New gazebo for Victoria Quay opens with help from Alberni Rotary club

A new gazebo that has been erected at Victoria Quay is the… Continue reading

New Vancouver Island airline eyes Alberni’s airport for charter flights

ACRD has work to do to support air operations, says GM of environmental services

True crime podcaster on mid Island inspired by case of missing Island woman

‘Island Crime’ Season 1 covers 2002 disappearance of 21-year-old Lisa Marie Young

Alberni Valley Community Foundation releases second round of emergency funding

The Alberni Valley Community Foundation will provide $75,000 to support local charities… Continue reading

B.C. legislature coming back June 22 as COVID-19 emergency hits record

Pandemic restrictions now longer than 2017 wildfire emergency

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

Has your event been cancelled or postponed? Check here

B.C.’s essential grocery, hardware store employees should get pandemic pay: retail group

Only B.C.’s social, health and corrections workers are eligible for top-ups

Edmonton, Vancouver and Toronto vying to be NHL hubs, but there’s a catch

The NHL unveiled a return-to-play plan that would feature 24 teams

As SD84 schools look to reopen, Kyuquot and Zeballos opt out

Schools in Tahsis and Gold River will open on June 1, with 30 per cent students expected to come in

B.C. sees 9 new COVID-19 cases, one death as officials watch for new cases amid Phase Two

Number of confirmed active cases is at 244, with 37 people in hospital

Illicit-drug deaths up in B.C. and remain highest in Canada: chief coroner

More than 4,700 people have died of overdoses since B.C. declared a public health emergency in early 2016

CMHC sees declines in home prices, sales, starts that will linger to end of 2022

CMHC said average housing prices could fall anywhere from nine to 18 per cent in its forecast

B.C. Paralympian named to Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame

Three-time world and Paralympic gold medalist Sonja Gaudet is part of 11-member class

Most Read