Parksville hotel fire started when man fell asleep cooking drugs

Photo by Kevin Forsyth
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A fire at the Parksville Travelodge that left one person in hospital last week started when a man fell asleep while cooking heroin and lit himself and the bed on fire, according to a support person who was working that night.

The hotel’s first floor was being used as supportive housing for 18 people, according to Kelly Morris. Not long after the start of her night shift, a man on fire came running into the room being used by support workers as an office, she said.

“I got him into the bathroom and I jumped on him into the shower and ran lukewarm water on him because I didn’t want his burns to blister and then I got a towel with lukewarm water,” Morris said, adding she quickly dialled 911.

“The smoke just came right at us, so I yelled fire and I ran down the other hallway to get out,” she said. The other clients on the first floor ran outside with her to the parking lot, according to Morris.

Parksville Fire Department responded to the fire around 11:30 p.m. on Sept. 28 and found a fire in a suite on first floor on building’s west side, according to Marc Norris, Parksville fire chief. The first fire crew to respond extinguished the fire and made sure occupants of the affected suite were evacuated.

Subsequent crews then searched the remainder of the building and escorted out several people who did not leave when the fire alarms went off, Norris added.

Morris said the people being housed on the first floor of the hotel will stay temporarily at the Bradley Centre in Coombs while BC Housing finds a new location. 

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