An electrical fire caused damage to the inside of this Holly Crescent home in Ucluelet over the holidays. A family of three was displaced as a result. (Photo Courtney Johnson)

Electrical fire displaces Ucluelet family over holidays

Community steps up with generous donations to revive Christmas spirit.

Ucluelet family Carly Opheim and her two children Mikko, 10, and Mya, 13, were forced to evacuate their Holly Crescent home on Dec. 23 after a power surge caused an electrical fire in the kitchen.

Since the incident, Opheim said they are couch surfing and still without a home. Anyone that knows of a long-term living arrangement is encouraged to contact her close friend Courtney Johnson at 250-266-2077 or stop by Image West Gallery.

“Carly loves it here. We need to find a way for her to stay,” said Johnson.

A neighbour extinguished the flames, according to Johnson, and all the kids’ Christmas presents were burnt. The dog that was inside was saved and luckily the kids were out at the time, Johnson notes.

“She didn’t want to tell anyone,” said Johnson. “She’s a shy and private person that doesn’t like to bother anyone.”

When Johnson found out about the fire, she made some calls to the mayor and her friends on council. She started a group chat on Facebook to find out how the Opheim family could be helped.

“The Ucluelet Co-op donated a generous credit. Bronwyn cleaned the inside of the house. The Rotary Club donated gifts. Cris Martin from the Food Bank pitched in. Within 12-hours, it was done,” said Johnson.

“I wanted the children to see that they are loved by the people in this community,” she said.

For Opheim, the emotional toll that comes from being displaced from her home is still very raw. She said it’s hard for her to talk about. She sent the Westerly News a few words of thanks to the community for trying to save their Christmas.

“It made me feel like my community was with me all the way. Coming to my friend’s house with Christmas all set up was extremely heartwarming. It was the first time I saw smiles on my babies faces. Made my heart warm,” Opheim said via Facebook messenger.


The community rallied to revive the Christmas spirit for the Opheim family after an electrical fire displaced them from their home.

Just Posted

Home care complaints up 45% on Vancouver Island

Number of home care hours delivered down 6%, complaints up 45 %

VIDEO: West Coast youth learn the ins and outs of business

Students develop company ‘Wild Coasters’

Cost of living going up while wages are going down in Tofino and Ucluelet

The Clayoquot Biosphere Trust’s Vital Signs Report shows need to diversify economy.

Extreme waves and king tides expected around Tofino and Ucluelet this weekend

Extreme wave hazard warning at the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve.

Strong winds up to 100 km/h for parts of Vancouver Island

Wind warning in effect for north, east and west Vancouver Island into Saturday morning

VIDEO: Here’s what the B.C. legislature officers are accused of buying

Personal trips, purchases, alcohol and more laid out in 76-page report by Plecas

Former Blue Jays ace Roy Halladay voted into Baseball Hall of Fame

M’s legend Edgar Martinez, Rivera, Mussina also make the grade

Why would the B.C. legislature need a firewood splitter?

First sign of police involvement in investigation of top managers

New Canada Food Guide nixes portion sizes, promotes plant-based proteins

Guide no longer lists milk and dairy products as a distinct food group

Judge annuls hairdresser’s forced marriage to boss’ relative

Woman was told she’d be fired if she didn’t marry boss’s Indian relative so he could immigrate here

Liberals look to make home-buying more affordable for millennials: Morneau

Housing is expected to be a prominent campaign issue ahead of October’s federal election

Cannabis-carrying border crossers could be hit with fines under coming system

Penalties are slated to be in place some time next year

Man accused of threatening to kill ‘as many girls as I see’

Christopher W. Cleary wrote he was angry because he’d never had a girlfriend and wanted to ‘make it right’ with a mass shooting

Most Read