Red Cross steps in for View Towers residents in Victoria

About 70 people remain displaced after a fire at the View Towers apartments at 1147 Quadra St. on May 15.  - Photo by J. R. Visser
About 70 people remain displaced after a fire at the View Towers apartments at 1147 Quadra St. on May 15.
— image credit: Photo by J. R. Visser

The Canadian Red Cross is stepping in to provide ongoing support to dozens of people who remain locked out of their apartments after a fire at View Towers last week.

About 40 people are staying with friends or family and another 31 are being housed at University of Victoria dorms after they were displaced from their apartments at 1147 Quadra St. on May 15.

Since then, the City of Victoria has been providing emergency housing funding and other social services through the Victoria Emergency Management Agency. The three-day program was extended to seven days through funding from Emergency Management B.C., but it's becoming clear residents require longer-term housing solutions while the building owner works out insurance details.

"The situation continues to be dynamic with many variables but I’m encouraged by the co-ordination occurring among local agencies to support those in need,” said Mayor Dean Fortin in a statement. “Although the city’s formal role under Emergency Social Services will soon transition to Red Cross, we will continue to assist in the co-ordinated response and work as partners to assist those whose homes were destroyed by the fire.”

The fire broke out on the ninth floor of View Towers last Thursday and was started by a lit cigarette. Several people suffered from smoke inhalation, but there were no serious injuries reported.

The city has promised to expedite building, electrical and plumbing permits for repairs to the building once the owner submits the necessary paperwork.

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