A fire in the Timberland Mobile Home Park in Cassidy has destroyed three homes and damaged a fourth, according to the fire department.
Ron Gueulette, chief of the Cranberry Volunteer Fire Department, says the only injuries from the fire were due to smoke inhalation. One man was taken to the hospital to be treated and was released the same night.
The fire occurred in the mobile home park on July 21 around 4:48 p.m.
Gueulette said because the mobile homes in this park are so close together, it posed a challenge in ensuring it did not spread to more homes. There are also a number of trees on the lot, so he said firefighters were trying to make sure the trees didn’t catch fire.
Bobbie Buckle also lives in the mobile home park. She says when the fire started a neighbour was yelling “fire, fire” so she grabbed her fire extinguisher and ran outside to see if she could help.
“I was on the phone with 911 had finally gotten through because I was on hold for a bit and I saw Steve coming out of the house and two seconds later the propane tank exploded in the backyard and it was another big fireball,” Buckle told CHEK News.
“I’m shocked he got out. And after all they’ve been through with the wind storm, this is just tragic.”
In 2018, Buckle says the same home went through a similar hardship. That time it was during the wind storm, when a tree fell on the home, damaging it.
READ MORE FROM 2018: Mobile home park near Nanaimo heavily hit during storm
After the wind storm, Buckle says the neighbourhood became a tight-knit community as they rallied around to support one another.
Those relationships are coming through once again, as they are coming together to plan a fundraiser to help the three families whose homes were destroyed.
“I put a post on our Facebook group for Timberlands residents, and within a few minutes I had three people say ‘yeah, I’ll help you organize a beer and burgers fundraiser, and I can donate stuff,” Buckle said.
“Emergency services put them up in a hotel for three nights and given them $150 to go buy underwear and pants and shirts at Walmart because they literally have nothing. And there’s nothing salvageable except for some plants outside.”
Buckle says they are hoping to hold a beer and burger fundraiser, and anyone who would like to donate should reach out to her on Facebook.
-With files from CHEK’s Kendall Hanson