Fire at Vancouver Native Housing project leaves residents homeless before Christmas

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      A three-alarm fire on the top floor of an apartment building in East Vancouver has created havoc for tenants.

      Everyone managed to escape the three-storey structure safely and they're being housed in hotel rooms.

      The 31-year-old building at 1766 Frances Street is operated by the Vancouver Native Housing Society.

      It has 27 units, according to the VNHS website.

      One of the residents, Cheryl Allan, told CBC News that the blaze began when her 13-year-old son accidentally dropped a lit match in a pile of laundry.

      Update: The Vancouver Native Housing Society has posted the following two notices on its website.

      Date: December 21, 2017

      To: All Community Members

      Update on Donations for Tenants Affected by the December 20th Fire

      Please drop off your physical donations at our Kwayatsut building:

      2465 Fraser Street
      Vancouver, BC
      V5T 0E5
      Open 24 hours a day, 7 days per week

      Kwayatsut will be open everyday over the Holidays, 24 hours per day.

      We have already received a large variety of clothing and blankets, and encourage all incoming donations to cover unwrapped Holiday gifts (toys/items for teens), traditional medicines (sage, sweetgrass etc), baby/toddler products, clothing items for men, and gift cards.

      Any monetary donations can be made through our GoFundMe:

      Thank you all for your continued support!

      We hold our hands up.


      Date:  December 20, 2017

      To:   Fire Evacuees

      In the morning of December 20, 2017, a fire started in one of the suites in the building.  Fire fighters immediately responded and safely evacuated all residents and contained the fire.  Significant water damage has been sustained as a result.  Engineers will be assessing the structural safety of the building.  In the meantime, no one is allowed to enter the building.  City of Vancouver by-law officers have retrieved all pets.  We will provide information as to when tenants might be able to go back to their suites to access some of their personal belongings.  When more information will be available on the habitability of the building, we will immediately inform tenants.   .

      In order to provide relocation as a result of this unfortunate event, VNHS and the COV Emergency Social Services has arranged for temporary lodging at the 2400 Motel located on 2400 Kingsway, Vancouver.  This lodging will be available for at least 72 hours.  We need to hear from various authorities as to the future status of the building.  We are also working with our friends at other social housing agencies to provide more permanent housing, if required.

      VNHS will also provide emergency assistance to each tenant in the form of a cash card.  Each primary tenant is asked to proceed to the VNHS head office located at 1726 East Hastings to claim your card.  The cash card must be claimed by no later than 3:00pm on Dec. 22nd. Please be prepared to present identification.  Various agencies and individuals around Vancouver have contacted us offering support to provide supplies and services.  We will issue information more on this later.

      Please write or email your property manager, Kevin Eaton ( or Margaret Go ( to let us know what support you require.

      Please make sure that the office has the current contact information &/or email for the primary tenant.

      Please note that VNHS is doing everything we can to assist families affected by the fire.

      We will be communicating to the tenants affected on our Facebook page:

      and Twitter:


      The Management of Vancouver Native Housing Society