Twenty Courtenay firefighters battled a house fire in Royston Saturday night which caused severe damage, however, no one was home at the time.
Courtenay Fire Chief Don Bardonnex said just prior to 6 p.m., the department received a call for a structure fire on Ross Avenue and could see smoke south of Courtenay as their members were heading to the call. A plume of smoke could be seen throughout the Comox Valley.
Upon arrival, Bardonnex noted the fire was in the carport/upper deck portion of the home and in the roof.
“We didn’t know if (the home) was occupied so we had to spend some time searching. The fire was in most of the roof and we had to pull the ceiling down.”
He added it took about 10 minutes for firefighters to get the fire under control but took a while to completely extinguish the fire. Much of the damage is contained to the top floor, but there is water damage to the main floor, Bardonnex added.
On Monday (July 19) morning, fire investigators were at the home to determine the cause of the fire; Bardonnex said it appears the fire started near the deck.
Homeowner Fred Shelly was out of town at the time only to return to his damaged home.
“We walked out (with) the clothes on our backs… but more important, everyone is safe,” said Shelly on his Facebook page. “Huge thank you to (Courtenay) Fire Department, as well as my many neighbours who manned garden hoses and kept others homes from igniting.”
Shelly went on to thank everyone for the messages of support he has received since the fire.
According to a GoFundMe set up to ease financial concerns, Shelly’s daughter and her boyfriend were living in the home and also lost all of their possessions outside of the clothes they were wearing.
While Shelly does have insurance for the home, he is unsure to what extent it will cover the loss.
To view or contribute to the GoFundMe, visit: https://bit.ly/3ewnmKU