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

Robert scores two as Caps double up Nanaimo

Cowichan knocks off Island rivals 4-2 on Friday night

International Guitar Night back in Duncan for incredible night of guitar showmanship

Guitarists celebrate 19 years of touring by returning to Cowichan

Former Chargers helping VIU teams to successful seasons

Groenendijk sisters team up with undefeated Mariners

‘Be Our Guest!’ say the Medford Singers, as they present two concerts

It’s Disney time in Duncan and Lake Cowichan as this enthusiastic choir sings songs from the movies

Bulldogs a big part of football bowl games

Five Cowichan Bulldogs midget football players helped Team BC to a come-from-behind win in ABC Bowl

VIDEO: U.S. Congress to probe whether Trump told lawyer Cohen to lie

At issue is a BuzzFeed News report that about negotiations over a Moscow real estate project

Coming up in Cowichan: Anti-pipeline meeting; women’s shelter open house

Public meeting in Duncan to support pipeline protests A public meeting has… Continue reading

Rookie Demko backstops Canucks to 4-3 win over Sabres

Young Vancouver goalie makes 36 saves to turn away Buffalo

Charges upgraded against mother of murdered B.C. girl

Kerryann Lewis now faces first- rather than second-degree murder in the death of Aaliyah Rosa.

UPDATE: Injured firefighter in stable condition

Kelowna fire crews responded to a blaze at Pope’sGallery of BC Art & Photography on Friday

Rare ‘super blood wolf moon’ takes to the skies this Sunday

Celestial event happens only three times this century

Arrest made after historic B.C. church hit by arson

The fire at the 150-year-old Murray United Church in Merritt was considered a possible hate crime

B.C. dangerous offender in court for violating no-contact order, sends letter to victim

Wayne Belleville was shocked to see a letter addressed to him from his shooter, Ronald Teneycke

Man blames his loud car radio, sirens for crash with B.C. ambulance

Tribunal rejects bid to recoup ICBC costs after crash deemed 100-per-cent his fault

Most Read