A unit in the village's trailer park was in flames on Saturday morning. Photo sourced from a video taken by a Port Alice resident.
PORT ALICE, B.C. – A man who lost his home is recovering after a fire in Port Alice.
Tim McLean’s trailer was completely damaged by a blaze last Friday night.
“I had the fire (wood stove) going hot, I was up and my roommate had already gone to bed…I had a guy staying in my spare room, he had been asleep for about an hour, and I could hear the wind really picking up outside,” McLean said.
“I went out into my cul-de-sac and I could hear branches snapping off. A big branch snapped and landed right beside me, so I went back into the house, then the power went out…so I dampened down my wood stove because the pipe was going red-hot…the wind was just drawing right through it.”
McLean said he left the room to grab a flashlight and when he returned, flames were shooting up out the ceiling.
“It had caught up and got too hot, it was too late I guess. The wind must have got some embers up in there (the wood stove) and that was that,” he said.
McLean said he woke his friend up, and boosted him up on the roof. The two attempted to knock down the flames.
“We figured out we couldn’t put the fire out ourselves, we were scrambling,” he said.
McLean added that he “lost everything” in the fire.
“All my work gear, my chainsaws…I’m a heli-logger…I lost everything in the fire, you know, all six of my saws,” he said.
“I had packed everything out at camp because we finished up our job before Christmas. Usually we would leave all that at camp. Everything I owned since I was a kid…all my grandparents collections and stuff.”
McLean said he was able to save some pictures off his fridge, his iPad and the clothes on his back.
He noted that people have donated items like food and clothes.
“I didn’t even have a pair of socks and was lucky I put my shoes on,” he said.
“People have been bringing by jeans, coats and warm clothes, socks and food, so that’s about all I own at the moment.”
He said the trailer is a “total write-off”, and he did not have any insurance to cover the damages. He said right now, he’s dealing with the clean-up.
“I’ve got a little camper off the side of my truck that was parked across the street…lucky it (the fire) didn’t touch the little camper, we thought that was all going to burn up too, and we were worried about the neighbor’s place,” he said.
No other building’s in the trailer court were damaged because of the fire.
McLean said he’s hoping someone can donate a chainsaw.
“Even one just to get me started would be great,” he said.
“My friend’s gonna set me up with an account at Macandales (specialty store in Port Hardy), just for my bunker pants, rain gear and caulk boots. That’s probably going to be like 800 bucks, and I’ll have to pay him back for that. My mom is also putting the dumpster for the clean-up on her credit card, I’ve gotta pay all that back, too. I haven’t been working since before Christmas, so I have a little bit of money left, but not much.”
McLean said he’s currently staying with a friend in Port Alice, while he figures out his next step.