Staff from Camp Fircom were starting to head home on Saturday morning after a lightning strike started a fire that destroyed the camp’s dining hall.
Analise Peterson-Perry is just one of the staff members who lost her job following the blaze.
The lightning storm hit Gambier Island hard, shattering trees and the nerves of staff huddled inside the Heritage Hall.
“[The dining hall] was just engulfed in flames,” said staff member Ana-Luz Covon. “There was maybe a third of it left that wasn’t on fire and it was just overwhelming. That image is in my head forever.”
The dining hall and kitchen were built in 2010 and the building was also designed to host weddings and conferences.
Staff were up all night putting out hot spots to ensure the fire didn’t spread to the rest of the camp or across the island.
Camp Fircom has hosted thousands of families and visitors over its 90 year history to enjoy its beautiful setting on Howe Sound. Several events are booked in September and staff are hoping to bring in temporary cooking facilities and outdoor tents to keep those bookings.
“I am beside myself by the out-pour of support from neighbours, volunteers, alumni,” said executive director of the camp, Jeff Willis.
– with files from Julia Foy
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