'This was the safety zone for them': Fire damages recovery house in NE Calgary
CALGARY -- A recent house fire in Falconridge destroyed more than just a home. The property that went up in flames early Friday afternoon on Fallingworth Bay Northeast was a recovery house, part of the Oxford Foundation, a non-profit aimed at helping people overcoming addiction.
None of the three residents was home at the time, but they are now displaced and the organization is working on the details to rehouse them.
“My heart sinks when I see this, I get a knot in my stomach,” said Earl Thiessen executive director, Oxford House Foundation as he looked at the damage on Sunday afternoon.
He says repairs to this house are expected to take between six to nine months under insurance.
“We are in constant contact with the residents of the home we are making sure they are okay. Mental health comes into play. This was the safety zone for them. We are just making sure that they are safe,” said Thiessen
There are 28 properties in Alberta operated by the Oxford Foundation, offering supports for men and women battling addictions for drugs and alcohol.
Living in a recovery house helps sober adults who have received treatment learn life skills in a peer-supported environment.
Despite the loss of this home from its housing network — the program actually has spaces available.
“I keep hearing about people not having a place to go so Oxford House awareness needs to be raised because we have 30 beds available right now, for people coming out of detox for people seeking recovery.”
In a statement to CTV News the Jason Luan, Minister for Mental Health and Addiction says: “My office was in contact with the Oxford House Executive Director as this incident was happening. I'm grateful that no one was home at the time and that everyone is safe.
He added, ”I have a high degree of confidence in the Oxford House organization and I'm here to help in any way that I can.”
Calgary Fire Department investigators are working to determine the cause of the fire.