Shoal Island explosion rattles Crofton windows

No one was injured in a fire at TimberWest’s Shoal Island facility on Monday afternoon

No one was injured in a fire at TimberWest’s Shoal Island facility on Monday afternoon, but an explosion caused when a huge tire exploded in the blaze was powerful enough to shake windows in nearby Crofton.

Crofton fire chief Ken Rukus estimated that the tire on the burning log loader was about six feet tall.

“The explosion rattled people’s windows and scared the heck out of them,” Rukus said.

Firefighters had to be careful while battling the flames, just in case another tire had exploded.

“If one of the other tires had gone, it had the potential to be a little dangerous,” Rukus said.

The Crofton fire department was helped out by a pumper from the Catalyst pulp mill, and the Chemainus fire department was also summoned to provide water. The fire took about two hours to put out.

Miraculously, no one was injured.

“The driver got out,” Rukus said. “The fire came up pretty quick on him, so he didn’t have much time to get out.”