Samantha Gledhill, 26, is one of six tenants without a home after a fire ravaged an Oak Bay house Saturday. Gledhill said the event has been both traumatic and stressful as she begins looking for a new home. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)

Greater Victoria resident displaced by fire struggling to find affordable accommodations

Samantha Gledhill hasn’t been allowed back in her rental suite to retrieve her mom’s ashes

A house full of tenants are homeless after a fire damaged their Davie Street home Saturday.

One tenant, 26-year-old Samantha Gledhill, said the six occupants haven’t yet been able to return and assess the damage to their personal belongings. She’s already started the search for a new, affordable place to live.

“We’re not allowed to live there anymore, we’ve been told it’s uninhabitable,” she said. Gledhill lived in the bottom level of the home with two roommates. During the fire, one of the residents in the top floor unit suffered smoke inhalation when he ran back into the home to rescue his dog.

RELATED: Victoria man runs into burning house to rescue dog

The cause of the fire, which appears to have started near the top floor, remains unclear, but the Victoria Fire Department is investigating.

Gledhill felt fortunate to have been out of town when the fire occurred and that her cat was rescued from the flames. She’s now staying at a friend’s house and said even though the worst of the fire is over, the struggles continue for the displaced residents.

“It’s been really hard honestly,” she said. “Especially with the housing market here in Victoria. I looked at one-bedrooms casually and they are a minimum of $1,200 to $1,500. I work a minimum wage job. I can’t afford that.”

And finding a place for herself, her cat, and her two roommates is next to impossible, she added. A struggle that many young people are familiar with in Victoria.

“This is not something I ever expected to happen,” she said, adding she did not have insurance.

While Gledhill has not been able to return to her bedroom, she noted there are two items of top concern – her mother’s ashes and a taxidermy owl that had belonged to her late father.

It will come at a cost but she said everything else can be replaced.

READ ALSO: Women reeling after losing Saanich home and belongings to fire

A fundraiser is being held for the victims of the fire at Axe & Grind on Nov. 4 from 3 to 10 p.m. The public is invited to come out and throw some axes or simply donate.



nina.grossman@blackpress.ca

Follow us on Instagram
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Russell Books marks opening of new location by setting Guiness World Record

Store stacks world record books more than six metres high

PHOTOS: 11th annual Gingerbread Showcase comes to Victoria

Bakers spent more than 100 hours perfecting their creations

Time is ticking for Victoria school relocation

Beausoleil school hopes a one year extension is enough time to find a new home

Petition calls on province to cover transfer fees after Island adoption centre closes – again

‘Choices clients weren’t told the ship was sinking,’ says would-be parent

VIDEO: B.C. to restrict nicotine content, bring in 20% tax on vaping products

Province will also restrict candy and fruit flavoured vaping products to adult-only stores

POLL: Do you support CUPE workers in their dispute with School District 63?

SD63 schools to remain closed as strike continues Tuesday

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Nov. 12

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

‘City that protects rapists’: Sexual assault survivor slams Kelowna mayor for defending RCMP

Heather Friesen spent the morning handing out flyers around city hall calling out the mayor

Batten down the hatches: Wet and windy weekend on the way for coastal B.C.

Environment Canada issues special weather warning for Lower Mainland, Vancouver Island

BC Liquor Stores to move fully to paper bags by March

Vancouver Island to be the first to convert to paper bags in November

Tolko shuts B.C. divisions for two weeks over holidays

Head office to close from Dec. 23-27; two weeks’ downtime runs Dec. 21-Jan. 6

B.C. government working with RCMP to address $10 million in budget cuts

Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth issues statement following report of RCMP cost-cutting

Port Moody mayor says stayed sex assault charge related to ‘awkward date’

Rob Vagramov said charge was related to a string of dates in 2015

Most Read