Samantha Gledhill, 26, is one of six tenants without a home after a fire ravaged an Oak Bay house Saturday. Gledhill said the event has been both traumatic and stressful as she begins looking for a new home. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)

Greater Victoria resident displaced by fire struggling to find affordable accommodations

Samantha Gledhill hasn’t been allowed back in her rental suite to retrieve her mom’s ashes

A house full of tenants are homeless after a fire damaged their Davie Street home Saturday.

One tenant, 26-year-old Samantha Gledhill, said the six occupants haven’t yet been able to return and assess the damage to their personal belongings. She’s already started the search for a new, affordable place to live.

“We’re not allowed to live there anymore, we’ve been told it’s uninhabitable,” she said. Gledhill lived in the bottom level of the home with two roommates. During the fire, one of the residents in the top floor unit suffered smoke inhalation when he ran back into the home to rescue his dog.

RELATED: Victoria man runs into burning house to rescue dog

The cause of the fire, which appears to have started near the top floor, remains unclear, but the Victoria Fire Department is investigating.

Gledhill felt fortunate to have been out of town when the fire occurred and that her cat was rescued from the flames. She’s now staying at a friend’s house and said even though the worst of the fire is over, the struggles continue for the displaced residents.

“It’s been really hard honestly,” she said. “Especially with the housing market here in Victoria. I looked at one-bedrooms casually and they are a minimum of $1,200 to $1,500. I work a minimum wage job. I can’t afford that.”

And finding a place for herself, her cat, and her two roommates is next to impossible, she added. A struggle that many young people are familiar with in Victoria.

“This is not something I ever expected to happen,” she said, adding she did not have insurance.

While Gledhill has not been able to return to her bedroom, she noted there are two items of top concern – her mother’s ashes and a taxidermy owl that had belonged to her late father.

It will come at a cost but she said everything else can be replaced.

READ ALSO: Women reeling after losing Saanich home and belongings to fire

A fundraiser is being held for the victims of the fire at Axe & Grind on Nov. 4 from 3 to 10 p.m. The public is invited to come out and throw some axes or simply donate.



nina.grossman@blackpress.ca

Follow us on Instagram
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Bacteria levels lead to swimming advisory at Saanich park

Craigflower-Kosapsum Park among regional beaches with swim advisories

Victoria’s Raging Grannies to demonstrate against public funding of for-profit senior homes

Group says COVID-19 has revealed ‘sad state of extended care’ in B.C.

Plans for pot shop in Sidney spark back to life

Changing provincial regulations could clear the way for Sidney’s first ever pot shop

New ECG will diagnose life-threatening emergencies in ‘timely manner’ in Sooke

Machine funded by the Sooke and Juan de Fuca Health Foundation

Woman who talked to unconscious husband, a Victoria police officer, for 30 years focus of study

Ian Jordan suffered a head injury when he and another officer were on their way to a call in Victoria in September 1987

Canadian policing organization calls for decriminalization of simple illicit drug possession

Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police want policing focus of opioid crisis to be replaced with a health one

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of July 7

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

POLL: Would you get a vaccine for COVID-19 when it is available?

With the number of positive COVID-19 tests skyrocketing across much of the… Continue reading

Time to protect B.C.’s unique glass sponge reefs, conservation group says

Climate change is a “serious and immediate threat” to the 9,000-year old sponges: study

Time to protect B.C.’s unique glass sponge reefs, conservation group says

Climate change is a “serious and immediate threat” to the 9,000-year old sponges: study

Indigenous leader Ed John pleads not guilty to historical sex charges

Ed John’s lawyer entered the plea by telephone on behalf of his client

RCMP investigate threat against Indigenous totem poles on B.C.’s Sunshine Coast

Police describe the nature of the threat as ‘sensitive’

Ex-Okanagan Mountie forfeits 20 days’ pay after sexual misconduct review

A former Vernon RCMP constable made sexual comments, grabbed genitals of male officer in two incidents 10 years ago

Man found dead on Okanagan trail identified as Hollywood actor

GoFundMe campaign launched for man found dead at summit of Spion Kop

Most Read