Margo Lisik in front of her Homer Road home that sustained heavy fire, smoke and water damage on May 14. The family is still displaced and do not know when they’ll return. Travis Paterson/News Staff

Homeless for the holidays in Saanich

Ready for Christmas outside the family home, burned-out Lisik family ready to put 2017 behind them

It’s been a year that Saanich’s Margo Lisik is ready to put behind her.

She lost a brother, a sister, a close colleague at work, had her van broken into during a volunteer trip and, since May 14, her family has been displaced by a major fire to their house on Homer Road. On top of that Lisik, at teacher at Lau Welnew Tribal School near Brentwood Bay, is at home this month recovering from preventative surgery, something she’ll get over soon, she says.

“It’s been, just overwhelming, that’s all I can say,” Lisik said. “The support from our church has been wonderful, we’re thankful for the neighbours collecting our mail for us, but this year has been a lot of things to take in.”

The family leaned on church support, with members of the Emmanuel Baptist congregation helping the Lisiks to find furnished rentals.

“Even then, in one case we needed dishes so people from the church gave us that, others gave us money to help with buying food to get started,” Lisik said.

The family is also grateful no one was hurt in the fire. It started sometime betwee 10 and 10:30 a.m. on Mother’s Day while the family was at church. They were told it was caused by faulty wiring and the damage estimate by Saanich Fire was $300,000. Had it happened overnight, it could have been a much different result.

Fire fighters spent all day at the house ensuring the smouldering embers were out.

Six months later, there is still no return date for the Lisik family, who lived at Homer Road since 2000.

“I will be glad to have 2018 come around,” Lisik said. “The fire repairs and insurance takes a long time, there’s been nothing straight forward about it.”

Passersby might think the house looks intact from the street but it’s not. There is damage to the structure and because of the heavy water and smoke damage, a lot of belongings and the interior are ruined.

For now, the Lisiks — Margo, her husband Laval, who works at the Esquimalt dockyard and daughter Geneviève, also a teacher — are renting a Langford home. It’s their second rental since the fire (third if you count the initial stay at a hotel) and they are likely in need of a third as they are still waiting for their insurance company post the repair of their home as a request for proposals.

People don’t realize the long process of returning to a home after a fire, Lisik said.

“Only now are we learning how hard it is to itemize everything in the home,” she said. “It’s slow going. We’ve talked to others who knew people that had been through a fire, and it takes a while.”

It’s little things, like the back and forth emails niggling over how to categorize a laptop, or finding time to visit the local restoration company, which closes at 4:30 p.m. and isn’t open on weekends.

At the time of the fire both Lisik’s daughter Geneviève and son Isaac, who both teach at the Lighthouse Christian Academy in Langford, were living on Homer. Isaac has since moved out, and his engagement to his fiancee has become a rallying point for a family, and mom, trying to stay positive.

Among the hard to replace items that were lost was Geneviève’s custom highland dancing outfits (she borrowed an outfit to compete on stage at the Victoria Highland Games one week after the fire). Ironically, while Isaac’s big set of bagpipes managed to survive, his smaller set was stolen out of Lisik’s van during a trip to Manitoba with their youth group.

“There is some good,” Lisik said. “We’re focused on Isaac’s engagement. We’re thankful that all of us are safe, no one was hurt, and things that can be replaced.”

 

The Lisiks are still waiting to return to their house on Homer Road, which sustained a fire and significant damage on May 14, 2017. Black Press file photo

The Lisiks are still waiting to return to their house on Homer Road, which sustained a fire and significant damage on May 14, 2017. Black Press file photo

Just Posted

A sentencing hearing began for Joel Conway who was convicted of break and enter and sexual assault last year. (Kendra Crighton/News Staff)
Saanich man sentenced to three years in prison for breaking into woman’s home and sexually assaulting her

Crown is asking Joel Conway be sentenced to four years for both charges, to be served concurrent

Victoria fire crews quickly extinguished a multi-unit apartment building fire near Beacon Hill Park on Oct. 30. (Courtesy of Chief Paul Bruce)
Victoria fire crews extinguish multi-unit fire near Beacon Hill Park

Two people have suffered non-life-threatening injuries

Elianna Tory, 5, was surprised with a brand new toy Jeep by 642 Jeeps, a group of off-roading enthusiasts, after hers was stolen outside her home in early October. (Andrew Gaetz photo)
Sooke girl left speechless after Island off-road community replaces stolen toy Jeep

Sooke area Facebook group hunted far and wide before locating new toy in Vernon, BC

Cat owners are being warned to keep their pets indoors after a threatening note was found posted in a North Saanich neighbourhood. (Kendra Crighton/News Staff)
ROAM warns Peninsula cat owners after threatening note posted in neighbourhood

Note writer doesn’t want cats pooping in their yard, threatens to trap them

A study by SlotsOnlineCanada notes there is at least 88 hours of top-rated horror movies for Canadians to consume this Halloween. (Unsplash)
Spooks and Chill study reveals Canada’s favourite horror flicks

88 hours of top-rated horror movies can fill COVID-19 Halloween

Physical distancing signs are a common sight in B.C. stores and businesses. THE CANADIAN PRESS
272 more COVID-19 cases for B.C., outbreak at oil sands project

Three new health care outbreaks, three declared over

This house at 414 Royal Ave. became notorious for its residents’ and visitors’ penchant for attracting police. It was also the site of a gruesome torture in August 2018. It was demolished in 2019. KTW
6-year sentence for Kamloops man who helped carve ‘rat’ into flesh of fellow gang member

Ricky Dennis was one of three men involved in the August 2018 attack

Cpl. Nathan Berze, media officer for the Mission RCMP, giving an update on the investigation at 11:30 a.m., Oct. 30. Patrick Penner photo.
VIDEO: Prisoner convicted of first-degree murder still at large from Mission Institution

When 10 p.m. count was conducted, staff discovered Roderick Muchikekwanape had disappeared

Among the pumpkin carvings created this year by Rick Chong of Abbotsford is this tribute to fallen officer Cont. Allan Young.
Abbotsford pumpkin carver’s creations include fallen police officer

Rick Chong carves and displays 30 pumpkins every year

An online fundraising campaign in support of the six-year-old boy, Edgar Colby, who was hit by a car on Range Road Oct. 25 has raised more than $62,000 in a day. (Submitted)
$62K raised in 1 day for boy in coma at BC Children’s after being hit by vehicle in Yukon

The boy’s aunt says the family is “very grateful” for the support they’ve received from the community

Julia Strobach. File Photo
Nearing seventh anniversary, Comox Valley RCMP continue search for Julia Strobach

“We know that someone has information that will help us locate her.”

Police service dog Herc helped RCMP locate and arrest suspects in the Ladysmith area on Oct. 23, 2020, related to a stolen vehicle. (Submitted)
RCMP nab prolific property offender in Ladysmith with assist from police dog Herc

Police attempted to stop the vehicle but it fled from the area towards Chemainus.

Health care employees take extensive precautions when working with people infected or suspected of having COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
WorkSafeBC disallows majority of COVID-19 job injury claims

Health care, social services employees filing the most claims

John Albert Buchanan, accused in the September 2017 murder of Richard Sitar in Nanaimo, is currently standing trial in B.C. Supreme Court in Nanaimo. (News Bulletin file)
Man accused in Nanaimo beating death told police he didn’t hurt victim

Arresting officer takes the stand in John Albert Buchanan’s second-degree murder trial

Most Read