Fire investigators have confirmed a fire at the Grant Manor apartment complex on 6921 Grant Rd was accidental, but that still leaves more than two dozen of the residents scattered, homeless and in need of food, clothing and furniture, among others things.
Luckily, the Sooke community has stepped up with a tremendous force of support for its affected residents, with numerous food drives and fundraisers launching within days of the incident.
One of the most popular support initiatives has been the Grant Road Fire Help Facebook page where everyone can set up donations and share their support.
The second is the Grant Manor Benefit Concert which will be hosted by the Castaways band this Saturday (July 18) at 6 p.m. at Sooke Royal Canadian Legion. Admission for the event is by donation and people are encouraged to bring cereals, canned foods and pet foods.
In wake of the fire, the United Way of Greater Victoria will provide $12,000 to the Red Cross for its emergency response program in order to help those affected.
“The fire in Grant Manor in Sooke reminds us that a person’s life can change overnight and how it takes a community of citizens, non-profits, local government and business all working together to manage an emergency,” said Patricia Jelinski, CEO at United Way.
Red Cross will use funding from United Way to provide short- and long-term housing needs to the individuals displaced by the fire, as well as to train more volunteers to support people in their return to self-sufficiency.
All 20 suites were damaged in the fire, with the majority receiving light to heavy spoke damage. Two of the units were completely destroyed, with another two receiving some degree of fire damage. A section of the roof over the second floor corridor was also severely damaged.
According to a District of Sooke press release, the property owner of Grant Manor indicated that the building will be repaired and is working to get things moving quickly, but how long it will take for the former residents to return, that is at best, trivial.
The Red Cross is trying to assist residents with finding new temporary lodgings and have moves some of the residents into a hotel late last week.
For more information on how you can support the victims, follow updates regularly on the Grant Manor Fire Help Facebook page.