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

COVID-19: Qualicum Beach Farmers Market re-opens under strict guidelines

‘Shop, don’t stop. Buy what you need and give others space and be efficient’

COVID-19: Latest from Parksville, Qualicum Beach, RDN

Province also launches new service for isolated seniors

COVID-19: Nanoose Bay man forges hearts for his community

Kasprick has already given out approximately 400, plans to make it 600

‘An extra $220 every 90 days’: B.C. patients pay more dispensing fees due to prescription limits

The Kelowna woman says it’s outrageous to charge for refills every 30 days

No more ferries will sail from Departure Bay, Mill Bay, Brentwood Bay during COVID-19 pandemic

B.C. Ferries announces major changes to sailing schedules for 60 days starting Saturday, April 4

‘Hold our line’: 29 new cases of COVID-19 announced in B.C.

Saturday’s number of new cases marks the lowest in weeks.

Nanaimo’s Harmac mill works to fill doubled pulp order for medical masks and gowns

Mill’s president says extra cleaning in place and workers are social distancing

Two inmates found positive for COVID-19 at federal prison in B.C.; other tests pending

15 staff self-isolating waiting results, refusal to work notice sent, says correctional officer

Critic, workers’ group ‘disappointed’ Trudeau chose Amazon to distribute PPE

Amazon Canada said in an email to The Canadian Press that it is working with Canada Post, Purolator

Full World COVID-19 update: National Guard collect ventilators in New York; Spain, Italy improve

Comprehensive coronavirus update with news from around the world.

Unclear if Cowichan couple refusing to self-isolate will face penalty

No fines or charges have been laid to date, including Cowichan couple who won’t self isolate

COVID-19 PQB business update: looking for takeout food?

Email messages to editor@pqbnews.com

Saanich mayor receives his foster bees through pollinator rental program

‘I feel like I’m an adoptive father,’ Fred Haynes says of his rented mason bee colony

Two people fined after B.C. police spot online ads re-selling 5,000 surgical, N95 masks

Police confiscated the masks, being sold at inflated prices, and now working with Fraser Health

Most Read