Around 10:30 p.m., the Oyster River Fire Department responded to a fire at a home at 4748 Upland Road. Photo by CTV Vancouver Island

Oyster River structure fire leaves two families without a home

With less than two weeks until Christmas, two Oyster River families are without their homes following an overnight fire early Tuesday morning in the community north of the Comox Valley.

Around 10:30 p.m., the Oyster River Fire Department responded to a fire at a duplex at 4748 Upland Road.

Oyster River fire chief Bruce Green noted the blaze might have started from an unattended candle.

“You never want to leave candles unattended. It’s one of the Christmas, Fire Smart, ‘power out’ messages,” he told CTV Vancouver Island.

Fire crews were able to put out the initial fire and following multiple checks of the building with heat sensors, Green said crews left around 1 a.m.

Shortly after 3 a.m., the department received a second page as another fire broke out in the same home.

“The deputy chief came by at ten after 2. There was no smoke or anything at that time. Then we got paged for the fire at 3:10. When I arrived, the whole roof from one end to the other end was fully engulfed,” said Green.

“Hindsight is 20/20 — we’re still going to do an investigation now to determine what caused the flare-up. We’re unsure at this time as to why it rekindled.

“We still want to do an investigation as to what caused it because we’re unsure, but I’m sick to my stomach … I feel bad – guilty that we didn’t do our job – I didn’t do my job and that this happened.”

Green added seven people in total were inside the home at the time, and one family of three went to the hospital to be examined for smoke inhalation.

Elizabeth Kuss, the daughter of the landlord of the duplex credited the fire department for their assistance.

“I’m devastated for the tenants but the fire department did all they could and … it’s a terrible time of year for this to happen. These firemen went out of their way to protect this house. My hat’s off to them — they are all volunteers and they’ve been up all night.”

She noted what is most important is that the tenants are safe, and the Oyster River community will rally together to assist the families.

“Our community in Oyster River is absolutely fantastic. They will be fine. We will support and love them and get them what they need. The holidays and the rental situation in Campbell River – there is none. It’s going to affect a lot of people,” said Kuss.

A GoFundMe page has been set up to assist at gofundme.com/oyster-river-fire.

Just Posted

Cowichan doc spurs octogenarian dad to develop low-cost ventilator for COVID-19 patients

Graham Brockley takes concept to his dad who is trying to develop it to save lives

VIDEO: Man breaks up Saanich road rage fight

Two men were throwing punches on Tillicum Road

Victoria brewery uses 3D-printer to make face shields for health care workers

Phillips Brewing is teaming up with engineers to create single-use medical equipment

Saanich man serving life for notorious double murder-for-hire granted day parole

Derik Christopher Lord, convicted in 1992 Huenemann case, fathered a child in custody

EDITORIAL: Social distancing means some sacrifice, please make it

Thank your frontline workers and protect your loved ones, don’t leave home unless you really have to

First Nations, remote communities need special attention in pandemic, Freeland says

Health-care workers, seniors, Indigenous Peoples some of people most at risk, health officials say

‘There can be no ambiguity’: Travellers brought home to B.C. must self-isolate

Health Minister Adrian Dix said the mandatory isolation must be abided by

Vancouver Island teachers show the love for their students

Virtual message meant to give families hope in uncertain times

COVID-19 has been impacting Canadian economy since January

But full effects of pandemic won’t be known for months

Doctors trained abroad want to join front lines of COVID-19 fight in Canada

B.C. is looking to allow internationally trained doctors to work under the supervision of attending physicians

Fake test kits and other COVID online scams play on public anxiety: fraud centre

Vancouver has seen a spike in commercial property crimes, with offices and stores empty because of COVID-19

Canada’s 75% wage subsidy is coming, but not for several weeks: finance minister

Subsidy will cost Canada $71 billion, but push down cost of emergency benefit, Morneau said

Feds amplify stay-home message as cost of financial aid to Canadians mounts

Liberals have unveiled around $200B in direct financial aid and tax deferrals

Most Read