The owners of a family doctor’s practice in Nanaimo that went up in flames over the weekend are looking to relocate the practice on an interim basis.
“We’re optimistic that we’ll be able to be up and running in the next day or two,” said Dr. Nicholas Schulson, one of the partners.
On Sunday morning, Nanaimo Fire Rescue crews extinguished a fire that broke out at a medical office — called Family Practice Clinic — located on the corner of Victoria Avenue and 104th Street.
A neighbour who called 911 said he first started to put water on his house and yard but when the smoke quickly turned to flames he knew he and his family had to leave.
“That’s when I proceeded to run inside and wake my entire family and evacuate them from the house so that everyone was safe and sound and we were left on the street for about four hours,” said Karl Nordli.
The clinic houses nine doctors who serve up to 15,000 patients.
Although most of the fire was contained to the attic, the building suffered extensive damage.
“Because of the amount of water that we put in, all the drywall on the ceiling came down but fortunately for the nine doctors and their patients that are at this clinic we were able to salvage medications, documentation, patient files, electronics,” said Cpt. Tom Krall, with Nanaimo Fire Rescue.
As a result, doctors and staff had to call patients on Sunday night to either cancel, move or discuss their visits scheduled for Monday. They’ve had the office’s phone lines connected to staff homes and say patient records were not damaged.
“Fortunately we are on Electric Medical Records and none of those were compromised,” said Schulson.
Fire investigators haven’t been able to determine the cause but say it started in the attic and suspect it was electrical in nature.
The owners had the practice built and moved in in March of 1983 and the building was insured.