Families in Duncan are left scrambling after a fire broke out in their building on Dingwall Street this week, leaving many displaced from their homes.
The community has since come together to help the families who are still dealing with the aftermath of the fire by raising funds through several GoFundMe pages.
Eyvette Elliott is one of the residents who is still left without a home.
She recalled the moment she found out about the fire and remembered how terrifying it was.
It was late Wednesday night when she and her partner, Braeden George, heard their neighbours outside.
“It was literally some keys that kind of woke me up wondering what’s going on out there. And then we thought they were just arguing and then it was like, okay, this is an ungodly hour. And then someone knocked on our door and then we’re okay, ‘kay, this is really not normal for our community,” Elliot explained.
Then they smelled smoke, and opened the door to find their neighbours yelling that the building was on fire.
“Fear. Panic. It was just so surreal and didn’t know what to feel. I just knew I had to get her son out of there in the truck as far as we could go,” George recalled.
Elliott, one of the few that remains displaced, is staying with her partner for the time being.
“We’re probably going to have to look for a new rental. We’re going to have to in an already-so-difficult market and find housing,” she said.
RCMP told CHEK News that while most residents have returned to the building, the investigation is still ongoing as some units are still being assessed.
While Elliot and her family were left unharmed, several other residents were taken to hospital, including six-year-old Vincent August, who was severely burned and was airlifted to Vancouver.
Since then, a few GoFundMe pages were created to help these families now having to deal with the aftermath of the fire.
More than $10,000 was raised for the August family and nearly $4,000 for Elliot and her eight-year-old son Donovan.
“Seeing everyone send messages, donations and everything. It just makes things so much better, especially in the moment where I’m like, ‘yeah, everything is gone,'” said Elliott.
While she’s grateful for the community’s help, she said it’s going to be challenging not knowing where she’s going to live in the coming months.