Early morning blaze tears through building at Tamarisk Estates 

No one injured in fire that displaced residents of 18 units

click to flip through (2) PHOTO BY DAVID BUZZARD/WWW.MEDIA-CENTRE.CA - BATTLING THE BLAZE Whistler Fire Rescue Service crews fight an early morning fire at Tamarisk Estates.
  • Photo by David Buzzard/www.media-centre.ca
  • BATTLING THE BLAZE Whistler Fire Rescue Service crews fight an early morning fire at Tamarisk Estates.

An early morning fire displaced the residents of 18 units in the "Gear Jammer" building at the Tamarisk Estates on Alta Lake Road on Friday.

Whistler Fire Rescue Service Chief Geoff Playfair said the call came in around 2 a.m.

"A fire had broken out at the back of the building on the balconies... as far as cause, we don't know yet. We have to do an investigation," Playfair said, adding that nobody was hurt in the fire.

"Everybody is out of the units. We had to do a search to make sure of that, but we confirmed everybody was out."

Not all of the units were damaged, Playfair said, but several on the second and third floors have smoke and water damage.

If it weren't for the quick work of fire crews - and some timely rain - the situation could have been much worse, Playfair noted.

"It was a fantastic job. It was a quick hit. The timing was perfect between when the call came through from the alarm company and our guys arriving on the scene," he said.

"With the forest around us here, a week earlier, you can only imagine what might have happened."

Those displaced by the fire are encouraged to call Emergency Social Service at 604-966-4845 or email ess@whistler.ca — emergency services can provide support for the first 72 hours.

The team at Whistler Community Services Society (WCSS) is also ready to help — they can be reached at 604-932-0113.

"We just want to remind people that our outreach team is here for ongoing emotional support and food bank support... and also if they need some support in terms of clothing or hygiene products or toiletries," said WCSS outreach worker Jackie Dickinson. "Any way we can connect people to service, we will."

Commenters on a post on the Whistler Summer Facebook group have also offered help — everything from home cooked meals to clothes and beds.

"I'm always amazed to see, outside of community services, what people in this community offer up and what they're willing to do," Dickinson said, adding that anyone willing to donate clothes can do so at the Re-Use-It Centre.

"I'm sure that it's completely overwhelming for people who have lost everything, and it will take some time for them for it all to settle in."

Check back with Pique for updates.

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