Firefighters battle the blaze at 645 9th Ave. in Campbell River (Photo supplied by: Michael Healy/Facebook)
The community is rallying around the victims of a devastating apartment fire in Campbell River.
While there were no reported injuries, Wednesday’s blaze at Pacific West Apartments at 9th Avenue and Dogwood Street has left more than 85 people without a home.
Diane Palmer created a Facebook page called Support Fire Evacuees to let the community know what items the victims are in need of.
“Part of the goal with the group is to streamline donations so that there’s not a bunch of donations that are coming in that can’t be managed at this time,” Palmer says. “It’s going to those specific needs of the evacuees at the moment. We’ll expand on that once we know a little bit more, but we’re looking right now for their basic needs of clothing, cell phones to connect with family, reading glasses, things like that. We’re updating the page right now so that people can see what that need looks like and where they can drop it off.”
Palmer says the Laichwiltach Family Life Society on 4th Avenue is accepting donations Monday to Thursday from 9:00am until 4:00pm.
Volunteers are working to ensure all items are properly sanitized to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
“They are asking people to call (250) 286-3430 first to make arrangements just so that everything in terms of social distancing and COVID-19 protocol is followed.”
On Friday’s and Saturday’s, Radiant Life Community Church on Cypress Street will be taking donations from 11:00am until 3:00pm.
The province’s Emergency Support Services program has provided those affected by the fire with food, clothing and accommodation for the time being.
Financial contributions are also encouraged.
Online donations are being accepted through the John Howard Society, United Way Central and Northern Vancouver Island and Canadian Red Cross websites.
Palmer adds that the Campbell River community is “always really fantastic when people are in need.”
“This is a unique case in that there are so many people displaced. There’s entire families that are staying at the Discovery Inn right now that really don’t know what they’re going to do in the next week or where they’re going. They’ve lost all of their belongings and they’re no longer able to enter the apartment building. It’s really important that Campbell River steps up and is able to come forward and help people out in a time of need.”