The owner of a hostel that was heavily damaged by fire on Saturday says he’s overwhelmed by the support he’s received in the wake of the blaze. 

“We have a lot of friends in the valley here, they’ve all reached out and it’s fantastic of course,” said Brian Scott, owner of the Cona Hostel. “Fortunately we have a strong community here and everybody is going to be fine.” 

Scott runs the hostel and he and his wife own the building where the fire broke out — believed to have been started by an arsonist.

“It’s not something you ever expect , it’s terrible to think that maybe somebody intentionally did it,” Scott said. 

Comox Valley RCMP arrested one person on Saturday whom they believe was possibly connected to the fire at the hostel, as well as a handful of other fires in downtown Courtenay that day.

Scott is waiting to hear the fate of the building from a restoration crew and insurance adjusters. He is hopeful he will be able to reopen the hostel.

“It’s hard to say what decision they’re going to come to but I would like to see a rebuild for sure,” he said. 

The building is located at 440 Anderton Ave. According to previous owner Marianne Muir, it was the first building owned and operated by the McPhee family, early business pioneers in Courtenay.

“We celebrated it’s 100th anniversary in 1993,” Muir said.

The building’s past also includes housing a funeral parlour, a roofing company, a music store and an art gallery. Muir said Canadian Red Cross volunteers operated out of the building’s basement in the First and Second World Wars.