Fire crews spent days on the scene where a fire broke out in a home at the east end of Seventh Avenue West last Thursday.
The Prince Rupert fire department received the 911 call about the fire at 3:27 p.m. Lee Milnes was at work when his boss radioed him that his house was on fire and he’d better go.
“I’ve been in this house for 14 years,” Milnes said adding that he has no insurance on the home.
Milnes was surrounded by friends, who are offering support to the man after the flames consumed his home. Right away, a GoFundMe page went up for Milnes and by Monday nearly $5,710 had already been raised.
All of his medications have been covered and someone donated a new sleep apnea machine for him to use until he gets back on his feet. Some people brought Milnes new clothes as well.
His cat was found after the fire broke out but his dog, Keena, is still missing. The 16-year-old husky shepherd cross is of medium height and has a small white patch on her chest.
Thirteen firefighters worked hard to put out the fire. There were four fire vehicles at the scene and the crew utilized two fire hydrants.
RCMP directed traffic and kept the public back. A BC Hydro crew arrived shortly after emergency vehicles as the fire was near power lines.
When the fire first started, witnesses said they heard shots go off. Milnes is an avid hunter and had shot gun shells stored in his home.
Students from the Prince Rupert Middle School watched the fire crews hard at work.
“It’s scary,” said Grade 8 student Tyrell Haldane. “Someone kicked in the front door and asked if anyone was in there.”
“A fire crew stayed on the scene overnight to check for hot spots until 9 a.m. when the investigation began,” said the Prince Rupert fire chief Dave Mckenzie. “It could take weeks before we know anything.”
Milnes’ home was severely damaged and Mckenzie said it’s burnt underneath and has been deemed unsafe. The home will be knocked down Friday afternoon. A second home that was in proximity to the fire sustained damage to the roof but Mckenzie said it’s fixable.
RCMP Sgt. Dave Uppal said at this time there is no foul play suspected but it’s still under investigation.