Saturday, April 11, 2015

Fire Displaces Six Nanaimo Residents

At approximately 12:46 AM on April 9th, Nanaimo Fire Rescue (NFR) crews attended a structure fire in the 200 block of Nicol St.  Upon arrival, the crew experienced heavy smoke and fire from the rear of the house.  RCMP were first on scene and had assisted occupants evacuate the building.  

Crews controlled the fire which had extended to the second floor and attic area.  Due to the age of the home the fire proved to be stubborn and crews were on scene for several hours.  Six people resided in the home.  All occupants had escaped the fire and were assisted by the City of Nanaimo Community Assistance Program with food shelter and personal items.  One occupant was transported to NRGH with minor smoke inhalation.

Neither the building or the residents were insured and the home and contents were a total loss.  NFR would like to remind residents of the importance of having renters insurance if you are a renter, and building insurance if you own the home as NFR continues to see people displaced and having to start over as they are not insured. In addition, smoke alarms were present in the building but not operating. 

"The investigation continues on the home.  It appears to have started in an addition at the rear of the building and extended up the exterior of the home. The home is a total loss and 6 residents were displaced. There were smoke alarms present but none were operating." Alan Millbank Fire Prevention Officer  Nanaimo Fire Rescue 

Interesting observation: the News Bulletin report contained the following quote from one of the displaced owners: "I went and got the only three things that I was able to get my hands on: my money, my bong and my weed," Carson said. "And none of it was water damaged because it was in a big-assed Ziploc bag and a plastic tobacco container. Dude, my laptop was covered in roof. My whole living room is covered in roof."



  1. Insurance was denied to the tenants because of the shared accommodation of the house. Also the owner was denied insurance because the moss on the roof (they do not like moss on the roof) and because the front porch looked like it was slightly sagging, when in fact when a level was used the porch was perfectly level, but the top of the roof was slightly tilted (for water drainage) Hub Insurance and another insurance company by another name co in Nanaimo Town Centre (now taken over by Hub Insurance) contacted each other (they are two companies with different names worked in Cahoots) to not allow me to get insurance, leaving the building uncovered, it is now a common practice, as well as dropping existing customer (as the Cooperators Insurance are now doing) and leaving them vulnerable without any insurance. The fire investigator also said that it is not the first time this has happened. At the time I was encouraged by the Government to report Hub insurance for doing this, it is illegal to run two insurance companies under different name, as hey did during the takeover of the other company.

  2. @ Norskgutten - According to what you say, those involved could not get insurance due to perceived risk. Insurance companies are in the business to sell insurance, why would they deny coverage if it was low risk? Ultimately the insurance companies were right. Had one of the tenants, or whomever, not been smoking carelessly, the place wouldn't have gone up.

    From the report: The Nicol Street fire on April 9th was determined to have started at the rear of the building in the exterior area of stairs leading to the closed-in porch. Remnants of smoking materials were found in this area. The cause of the fire is undetermined however it is suspected that poorly discarded smoking materials ignited the fire which displaced 6 occupants. During the investigation it was determined that the smoke alarms were disabled or removed.


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