Old Hupacasath Hall fire ruled accidental

By Denise Titian, June 1, 2017

On Friday, May 26 a fire broke out on the second floor of the old Hupacasath Hall, temporarily closing down River Road. (Denise Titian photo)

Port Alberni — 

Smoke and flames poured out of the upper floor windows of Old Hupacasath Hall on River Road on the afternoon of May 26, closing River Road down as firefighters fought to save the two-storey log building.

Port Alberni Fire Chief Kelly Gilday said his department quickly responded to the scene after receiving a report of smoke and fire coming from the second floor windows.

“We quickly gained entry and found wood materials and sawdust on fire on the floor,” said Gilday. The fire was quickly extinguished and there was little in the way of structural damage, however, there was heavy smoke and water damage upstairs.

Gilday said a portion of the upper floor was used as office space while another section appeared to be used as a carving studio.

There was a large carving, about eight feet by 12 feet, that was saved with only a little damage from the fire.

“There was a potential for disaster but, in the end, it was mostly smoke damage,” said Gilday.

The fire was ruled accidental.