HANNA PETERSEN PHOTO The Creekside Apartment building after the fire on Aug. 16.

Creekside residents future uncertain

“It’s along ways from over.”

According to Port Hardy Emergency Support Services, the Creekside Apartments fire has left roughly 65 people displaced from their homes.

The fire started the morning of Aug. 16 around 3:45 am on the fourth floor of the apartment building, which is located across from Port Hardy Secondary School.

Port Hardy RCMP is no longer investigating the cause of the fire. “We determined there appears to be no criminal element or intention involved,” said Staff Sgt. Wes Olsen, adding it appears the fire started accidentally due to a cooking mishap in one of the apartments.

“Once we finished our investigation and there was no need to hold the scene, we liaised with the insurance provider for the owner of the building and they are going to evaluate the building and determine whether or not it can be repaired,” said Olsen.

“We still do not have definitive answers to the state of the building,” said Norma Hemphill, director of Port Hardy’s Emergency Support Services (ESS). She added she thinks the fourth floor is “probably gone because of water damage.”

Hemphill also noted that “two families are staying in hotels, we have lots that are billeting, and we have some relying on the good graces of the Salvation Army.”

ESS was able to supply the residents with Emergency Management BC Referral Forms, which can be used for groceries and restaurants. However, only three restaurants in Port Hardy participate in the program, and those are the Market Street Cafe, Moe’s Restaurant, and Seto’s Wok and Grill.

“Initially we had 72 days, which is typical for Emergency Management BC, and then we got an extension until the first of September,” said Hemphill of the referral program, which also supports those who are hosting billets of displaced residents.

The Red Cross also gave everyone who registered a $250 debit card.

“To the businesses and people in the community who have stepped up, we really appreciate it – but it’s a long way from over,” Hemphill said, adding there is “very, very little to rent in town.”

ESS is a volunteer run organization with only five members, including Hemphill, and it doesn’t have the resources to accept donations.

“What we have done with any clothing donations that have come in, we have split them with the Salvation Army and the Hospital Auxiliary Thrift Store,” said Hemphill, who said she is worried people may be charged if they are not identifying themselves as Creekside residents.

Because of Emergency Management BC rules, ESS is not able to accept monetary donations and the Red Cross has not issued an official appeal on behalf of the residents.

“Until that is done we cannot even earmark money for the residents,” said Hemphill, adding “it’s tough, but our people are pretty resilient.”

Residents had been asked to get their things out the building while it is still secure, and have been asked to wear protective equipment while inside the building.

Anika Kelly, who owns Aries Security, and her staff have been helping residents get their things out. Kelly said that “some people have arrived with just totes and had nothing really to get their stuff out.”

She added she’s amazed after watching the community come together, noting, in particular, a story about a man who volunteered to drive a resident’s things to Port McNeill, all because that was the only place he could find storage.

“All people want is to lay their head on their own pillow at the end of the day,” said Kelly.

“We are just doing as much as we can to help,” said Hemphill, stating anyone who is interested in joining ESS should contact them.

The District of Port Hardy suggests anyone who is interested in joining ESS or wants more information should call the Director of Corporate Services Heather Nelson-Smith at 250-949-6665.

Just Posted

Grant funding denied for Fort Rupert Curling Club’s new roof, District on the hook for full costs

“I think we did our job in helping the curling club have a facility that is no longer leaking.”

Port Hardy Fire Rescue puts out structure fire

Approximately 20 firefighters responded to the incident.

Gwa’sala-‘Nakwaxda’xw warns dealers and bootleggers they are not welcome

“My hope is that our community works together on this problem as one.”

Ladysmith marijuana producer bought by Aphria in $230M deal

Ontario licensed marijuana producer Aphria has reached an agreement to acquire Ladysmith-based… Continue reading

Tri-Port Midget Wild shutout Clippers at home, continue red hot winning streak

Tri-Port Midget Wild forward Mackenzie Murgatroyd scores natural hat trick, leads team to victory.

B.C. boy denied $19,000-per-month drug to ease ‘crippling pain’ for 3rd time

Sooke mom Jillian Lanthier says son Landen Alexa has been forgotten about by Premier John Horgan

Did you get Hitched in Courtenay on Sunday?

The first annual wedding show saw big crowds and included two fashion shows

Diplomacy on agenda at North Korea summit in Vancouver

Foreign ministers from 20 countries are meeting Tuesday to discuss security and stability on the Korean Peninsula.

Kids chained in Calif. house of horrors; parents arrested

Authorities say an emaciated teenager led deputies to home where her 12 brothers and sisters were locked up in filthy conditions

‘Reprehensible’: Trudeau abortion policy raises ire of U.S. right

“This man is reprehensible,” tweeted former White House staffer Sebastian Gorka

‘I shouldn’t have to have a husband:’ Winnipeg woman criticizes men-only club

Jodi Moskal discovered the Winnipeg Squash Racquet Club continues to ban women as members, as it has done since opening in 1909.

Japan public TV sends mistaken North Korean missile alert

The false alarm came two days after Hawaii’s emergency management department sent a mistaken warning

Toronto girl dies after being pinned between vehicles while picked up from school

Police say an SUV with no driver in it rolled forward and pinned the girl against her father’s car

Senior randomly stabbed in B.C. mall food court

Woman arrested after victim, 71, suffers serious injuries

Most Read