Island Crisis Care Society confirms that a fire occurred at 250 Terminal Avenue, our Newcastle Place program, in Nanaimo on Monday April 2nd around 5:00 in the afternoon. Onsite staff responded quickly to the emergency and all residents were evacuated without injury before emergency response units arrived.
Nanaimo Fire Rescue extinguished the blaze that partially engulfed one of the buildings, and 20 residents were transported to alternative accommodations for the night. The risk of fire had been assessed and a fire plan was in place which prepared staff and program participants in advance.
We are proud of our well-trained front line workers who responded quickly and professionally, and our managers and executives who worked into the night to coordinate transport and services for those effected to other programs and locations. There was great teamwork and dedication and we are thankful to have workers in other programs so willing to help on such short notice.
We have also been touched and impressed with the response of neighbours and our community. Our office has been flooded with calls of support and staff report that on the night of the fire neighbours were seen taking resident for meals and offering comfort and empathy. You who helped in these tangible ways, are making Nanaimo a city with heart.
Workers, residents, neighbours and supporters are expressing deep gratitude for Nanaimo Fire and Rescue, BC Ambulance Stations, and the RCMP who all responded with their usual level of excellence and skill.
The building received significant damage from the fire and it will be weeks before a timeline for repair and restoration will be known. During that time, the displaced people will need additional emotional support as they cope with the loss of their new home. The cause of the fire is under investigation, and findings will be used by us to improve our safety routines in the future. Please visit this page for additional information in the coming days.
If you would like to help, please support those impacted by this disaster with prayers, kind thoughts, and continued support for solutions to homelessness. We will provide details on how to make donations of clothing and other essentials when a plan is in place. Financial gifts can be made on our donation page.
08 April 2019 Update from Nanaimo Fire Rescue: https://www.nanaimo.ca/NewsReleases/NR190409UpdateFireAt250TerminalAvenue.html