Port Renfrew tow truck driver, artisan loses home in fire

September 7, 2015 — Port Renfrew, British Columbia — A Port Renfrew tow operator and aboriginal artist has been left to pick up the pieces after his house burned down late last month.

The Sooke News Mirror reports Bruce Carlson and his family lost everything in the August 23 blaze.

The Pacheedaht First Nation made his living serving as the small community’s sole tow service and selling totems, masks and other aboriginal works he carved out of wood.

The fire, estimated to have spread across 393 hectares, destroyed his tools, totalled two compressors, and caused minor body damage to his truck, breaking the windshield. The vehicle had been parked next to Carlson’s home.

“Now he’s got nothing—no tools to work with and no one to tow and help with his truck,” Pacheedaht Health Director Ardina Jones said in the report.

Jones adds that while all managed to escape the burning home, one of the four family members was treated for burns on his back and wrist. RCMP are still investigating the cause of the blaze.

Relief efforts—including the delivery of clothes and small items—were made on behalf of the T’Sou-ke First Nation shortly after the incident, but Jones says much still needs to be done to help the Carlson family recover.

Calling on the community and surrounding area, Jones is accepting donations. Carving tools—including a knife, adzes, chainsaw, bandsaw, plainer, generator or sandpaper—are requested.

Those interested in making a donation can contact Ardina Jones at 250-647-5521, ext. 213.

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