Campbell RIver, BC, Canada – Sprinkler system activated for fire at homeless housing facility

No injuries to report after flames broke out in a top floor unit at a supportive housing facility in Campbell River.

Just after 11:30 last night (Wednesday), Campbell River fire chief Thomas Doherty says crews were dispatched to Q’waxsem Place.

The 50-unit building, located at 580 Dogwood St., opened in February and provides homes with 24/7 support for people experiencing or at risk of homelessness.

According to Doherty, an alarm call is what first prompted Campbell River Fire Rescue to attend.

Once on scene, he says crews quickly noticed smoke spewing out a third-floor window. They then utilized hose lines, working to extinguish the blaze in hopes it wouldn’t spread to other units.

But Doherty says the building’s sprinkler system did activate, which played an ‘instrumental’ role in getting the job done.

The cause of the fire is now under investigation.

“All said and done, there’s damage to the one unit on the third floor, and a little bit of water damage as well to some subsequent units,” Doherty explains. 

However, while a number of residents did evacuate before firefighters arrived, others did not, which posed a challenge, Doherty tells My Campbell River Now.

Eventually, everyone made it out. Doherty notes that a transit bus stopped by, offering a warm and dry place for residents to stay while crews assessed the damage.

“We were fortunate to be able to let the occupants return to their units, with the exception of those that were damaged,” he adds.