Margo Lisik in front of her Homer Road home that sustained heavy fire, smoke and water damage on May 14. The family is still displaced and do not know when they’ll return. Travis Paterson/News Staff

Not home for the holidays: Saanich family still displaced six months after fire

Lisik family ready to put 2017 behind them

It’s been a year that Saanich’s Margo Lisik is ready to put behind her.

She lost a brother, a sister, a close colleague at work, had her van broken into during a volunteer trip and, since May 14, her family has been displaced by a major fire to their house on Homer Road. On top of that, Lisik, a teacher at Lau Welnew Tribal School near Brentwood Bay, is at home this month recovering from preventative surgery, something she’ll get over soon, she says.

“It’s been just overwhelming, that’s all I can say,” Lisik said. “The support from our church has been wonderful, we’re thankful for the neighbours collecting our mail for us, but this year has been a lot of things to take in.”

The family leaned on church support, with members of the Emmanuel Baptist congregation helping the Lisiks to find furnished rentals.

“Even then, in one case we needed dishes so people from the church gave us that, others gave us money to help with buying food to get started,” Lisik said.

The family is also grateful no one was hurt in the fire. It started sometime between 10 and 10:30 a.m. on Mother’s Day while the family was at church. They were told it was caused by faulty wiring and the damage estimate by Saanich Fire was $300,000. Had it happened overnight, it could have been a much different result.

Firefighters spent all day at the house ensuring the smouldering embers were out.

Six months later, there is still no return date for the Lisik family, who have lived on Homer Road since 2000.

“I will be glad to have 2018 come around,” Lisik said. “The fire repairs and insurance takes a long time, there’s been nothing straight forward about it.”

Passersby might think the house looks in tact from the street but it’s not. There is damage to the structure, and because of the heavy water and smoke damage, a lot of belongings and the interior are ruined.

For now, the Lisiks – Margo, her husband Laval, who works at the Esquimalt dockyard, and daughter Geneviève, also a teacher – are renting a Langford home. It’s their second rental since the fire (third if you count the initial stay at a hotel) and they are likely in need of a third as they are still waiting for their insurance company to post the repair of their home as a request for proposals.

People don’t realize the long process of returning to a home after a fire, Lisik said.

“Only now are we learning how hard it is to itemize everything in the home,” she said. “It’s slow going. We’ve talked to others who knew people that had been through a fire, and it takes a while.”

It’s little things, like the back and forth emails niggling over how to categorize a laptop, or finding time to visit the local restoration company, which closes at 4:30 p.m. and isn’t open on weekends.

At the time of the fire both Lisik’s daughter Geneviève and son Isaac, who both teach at the Lighthouse Christian Academy in Langford, were living on Homer. Isaac has since moved out, and his engagement to his fiancee has become a rallying point for a family, and mom, trying to stay positive.

Among the hard-to-replace items that were lost was Geneviève’s custom highland dancing outfits (she borrowed an outfit to compete on stage at the Victoria Highland Games one week after the fire). Ironically, while Isaac’s big set of bagpipes managed to survive, his smaller set was stolen out of Lisik’s van during a trip to Manitoba with their youth group.

“There is some good,” Lisik said. “We’re focused on Isaac’s engagement. We’re thankful that all of us are safe, no one was hurt, and things that can be replaced.”

reporter@saanichnews.com

 

The Lisiks are still waiting to return to their house on Homer Road, which sustained a fire and significant damage on May 14, 2017. Black Press file photo

The Lisiks are still waiting to return to their house on Homer Road, which sustained a fire and significant damage on May 14, 2017. Black Press file photo

Just Posted

Saanich vet talks tips for winter travel with pets

Going to see the vet the day before a trip is never a good idea

Talking about tubas! Annual concert attracts hundreds to Market Square

The 2019 edition of Tuba Christmas concert and fundraiser goes this Saturday in the square

Victoria restaurant gets one-year extension after facing renoviction

Pluto’s Restaurant set to stay at its Cook Street location until March 2021

Woman injured during West Shore RCMP arrest prompts police watchdog investigation

IIO investigating to determine if police action or inaction linked to woman’s injuries

‘Not a decision I came to lightly:’ Scheer to resign as Conservative leader

Decision comes after weeks of Conservative infighting following the October election

Greater Victoria wanted list for the week of Dec. 10

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

POLL: Do you have a real or artificial Christmas tree?

The lights are up, holiday shoppers are bustling through the streets and… Continue reading

‘British Columbians are paying too much’: Eby directs ICBC to delay rate application

Attorney General David Eby calls for delay in order to see how two reforms play out

VIDEO: Octopus, bald eagle battle after bird ‘bites off more than it can chew’ in B.C. waters

B.C. crew films fight between the two feisty animals in Quatsino off north Vancouver Island

Couple who bought $120k banana duct-taped to wall say artwork will be ‘iconic’

Pair compared it to Warhol’s ‘Campbell’s Soup Cans,’ which was initially ‘met with mockery’

Race to replace Andrew Scheer could be a crowded one

Many familiar faces, such as Maxime Bernier, Jason Kenney, Doug Ford and Kevin O’Leary, have said no

Sooke’s École Poirier students win B.C. Hydro Power Smart contest

More than 100 schools compete in province-wide competition

Most Read