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Late night fire at Highland Manor caused evacuation, but no injuries

Laundry room fire caused limited damage; manager alleges it was deliberately set

Port Hardy Fire Rescue was called to Highland Manor for a fire around 11 p.m. on Dec. 29 in the laundry room. The fire was quickly contained and there were no injuries. The building was evacuated until firefighters could be sure it was safe. Residents were allowed back in around 2 a.m.

The fire department had to remove several ceiling tiles in the laundry room, and half a bifold door was destroyed, according to building manager Matthew Liang.

The cause is officially unknown, Fire Rescue spokesperson Adam Harding said, adding there might be a formal investigation, although there has been no call for one so far. Typically, a formal investigation would be done for insurance purposes or in the case of injury.

Liang thinks the fire was deliberately set. He was in the building when it started, and was able to use a fire extinguisher on the blaze as the firefighters arrived. There was no damage to the hot water tanks behind the burnt door where the fire started, and that beyond the ceiling tiles and walls, there was no damage to the one working washing machine and clothes dryer.

Highland Manor has a long history of false fire alarms, unsafe conditions and fire safety violations, which have been addressed via orders by the District of Port Hardy.

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