Fire destroys vacant house Tuesday night

Neighbours lauded firefighters for their speed and efficiency after an abandoned house went up in flames around midnight Tuesday.

The blaze took down the old blue house on Cowichan Lake Road.

“The firefighters were amazing,” said nearby resident Amy Powell, who managed to snap a few photos of the volunteer crews hard at work.

“It could have been a different outcome especially if the trees caught fire,” she added.

The risk of spreading is what South End fire hall deputy chief Brad Coleman said prompted the call for mutual aid from the Duncan Fire Department.

“There was a lot of exposure to the brush and trees,” he said. “They helped us initially and then they peeled away and we finished off.”

At the peak, about 35 firefighters were on the scene.

It only took about a half an hour to knock the flames down, Coleman said, but the rest of the overnight hours were spent mopping up hot spots.

Firefighters monitored the site and were back in the morning to ensure a rekindle wouldn’t happen.

“The roof came in and there was a lot of brick and debris on the floor so we basically just flooded it from outside and then it still had a little bit of heat in the floor joists so we couldn’t get at it,” he explained.

“I brought a machine in this morning and we went through all of the debris with a machine and hosed it as he was digging through it.”

The benefit of the abandoned structure burning right to the ground is safety, said the deputy chief.

“At least it’s level and more safe now,” Coleman said. “It’s pretty much flattened out as opposed to a semi-standing structure.”

It’s the third fire at an abandoned home in the last month. Fires at two abandoned houses in Duncan in mid June left police and firefighters on heightened alert and on the lookout for a firebug.

The first fire was on Festubert Street and reported about 6:30 p.m. on June 13. The second fire, at a home on Second Street, was reported just before 10 p.m. the following night.

Another abandoned home, across the street from the house that burned on Tuesday, was destroyed by fire in January.

Coleman said he’s not sure yet what ignited the blaze but at this point he doesn’t believe it’s suspicious.

Just Posted

Column: Keeping animals off roads is no simple task

Where I originally come from, it’s moose, which can weigh twice as much as an elk

Column David Suzuki: More action needed to ensure safe water for First Nations

All nine water systems on Lytton First Nation land have been under boil water advisories

Column: Hot under pressure: my newest love

A Valentine’s Day tribute to love and cooking

CWFL planning girls divisions

Players and coaches sought for 12-13 and 14-15 age groups

Cowichan writer pens children’s novel, ‘The Mysterious Ledge’

It’s been more than two decades in the works but the dream of publishing his book has now come true

WATCH: Vancouver Island man catches dashcam video of near head-on crash

Video shows oncoming van cross over centre line

Coming up in Cowichan: Irrigation; Palestinian children; fun with fungi

The Cowichan Watershed Board is presenting a free efficient irrigation workshop

#Metoo movement causing confusion in many men, fear of missteps with women: experts

Being painted by the same sweeping brush as those alleged to have mistreated women has angered men

Liberals to dig deeper, aim higher on gender equality in 2018 federal budget

Finance Minister Bill Morneau said the budget would include measures to boost women in the workforce

Vancouver Island’s Teal Harle finishes fifth in Olympic Men’s Slopestyle skiing

‘I’ve definitely surpassed every expectation I had for the Games’ – Harle

Body of missing skier found

Man’s truck found in Revelstoke Mountain Resort’s parking lot covered in ‘several days’ snow’

B.C. VIEWS: Subsidy supercluster settles in B.C.

Ottawa, Victoria add to their overlapping ‘innovation’ budgets

OLYMPIC ROUNDUP: Canada’s first ever men’s ski slopestyle medal

Men’s hockey team beats South Korea and women’s curling reverses losing streak

Most Read