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

 

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

Just Posted

Nanaimo’s ‘Living History’ isn’t being forgotten

City announces return of speaker series for one night Nov. 19

Nanaimo service station first in B.C. to be part of Petro-Canada’s ‘electric highway’

EV charge stations started operating last month at service station at Terminal and Princess Royal

Kris Kringle Craft Market making its return to Nanaimo

Self-taught craftspeople join trained artisans at seasonal sale Nov. 21-24 at Beban Park

Idea of free student bus passes will come to Regional District of Nanaimo board table

Tyler Brown, RDN transit committee chairman, hopes to explore fully subsidized bus passes for youths

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Neighbourhood around supportive housing disrespected

Supreme Court’s ruling a mean-spirited example of establishment versus the people, says letter writer

Teen with cancer whose viral video urged Canadians to vote has died, uncle tweets

Maddison Yetman had been looking forward to voting in her first federal election since junior high school

The Great Nanaimo Toy Drive launches 37th year collecting presents for kids

Toy drive makes sure children in Nanaimo’s less fortunate families have presents Christmas morning

Fisherman missing near Lake Cowichan’s Shaw Creek

Family is asking for everyone and anyone to keep their eyes open,… Continue reading

Use of force deemed justifiable in arrest of suspect after snowy chase in Nanaimo

Independent Investigation Office of B.C. reports on incident from late last winter

Rowing Canada, UVic investigate celebrated coach for harassment, abuse

Lily Copeland says she felt intimidated and trapped by Williams

Cleanup in the works after tanker truck fire leads to oil spill in B.C.’s Peace region

The province said the majority of the spilled oil likely burned away in the fire.

BC VIEWS: Action needed on healthcare workplace violence

While we’ve been talking about it, the number of B.C. victims has only grown

Closing arguments begin in B.C. case launched in 2009 over private health care

Dr. Day said he illegally opened the Cambie Surgery Centre in 1996 in order to create more operating-room time

MacLean says “Coach’s Corner is no more” following Cherry’s dismissal from Hockey Night

Cherry had singled out new immigrants in for not honouring Canada’s veterans and fallen soldiers

Most Read