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

Recent arrests skim surface of Victoria’s human trafficking problem

Port city makes desirable place for traffickers flying under the radar

Oak Bay athletes rule the slopes at Island ski and snowboard series

Oak Bay boys take top ski, snowboard honours

Two-vehicle crash in Langford sends one to hospital Monday morning

Driver sent to hospital with unspecified injuries

Victoria Canadian Forces member honored with exceptional Rotary Club award

Capt. Jacqueline Zweng is the Western Canada Ambassador of Wounded Warriors Canada

B.C. budget expected to stay the course as economic growth moderates

Finance minister said ICBC costs have affected budget

VIDEO: Ottawa wants quick, peaceful resolution to pipeline protests, Trudeau says

The protests have manifested themselves as blockades on different rail lines across the country

Canucks acquire forward Tyler Toffoli from Kings in push for playoffs

Vancouver sends Schaller, Madden, pick to L.A.

New highway proposed between Alberta and B.C.

The route would connect Red Deer to Kamloops

Wet’suwet’en and B.C. government have been talking Aboriginal title for a year

Coastal GasLink says it has agreements with all 20 elected First Nations councils along the 670-kilometre route

Trudeau tightlipped on plan to end protests ‘quickly and peacefully’

The prime minister, who cancelled a two-day trip to Barbados this week to deal with the crisis at home

Canadian standards for coronavirus protection to be reviewed, health agency says

The protocols set out how health workers should protect themselves and their patients

Monday marks one-year anniversary of man missing from Langley

42-year-old B.C. man, Searl Smith, was last seen leaving Langley Memorial Hospital on Feb. 17, 2019

Amtrak warns of delays as railways from Seattle to B.C. blocked by Wet’suwet’en supporters

Coastal GasLink said it’s signed benefits agreements with all 20 elected band councils along pipeline route

Federal emergency group meets on pipeline protests as rail blockades continue

There’s mounting political pressure for Trudeau to put an end to the blockades

Most Read