Editorial: Sixplex fire stark reminder on Fire Prevention Week

We all have to help our firefighters out.

The irony that our front page story on Wednesday was about a fire that left a number of families homeless, while inside was our special section for Fire Prevention Week (Oct. 7-13) is not lost on us.

Every year in mid-October when the awareness week comes around we commit pages to celebrate our hardworking Cowichan Valley firefighters and departments. This year photographer Malcolm Chalmers travelled the Valley in the weeks before, photographing our fire departments and their chiefs. What’s really remarkable about these folks is that in the Cowichan Valley, they are all volunteers.

Without them giving of their time and seemingly boundless energy there would be far more catastrophic blazes than there are. Think what would have happened this summer when a wildfire broke out terrifyingly near the village of Crofton, and our firefighters spent days making sure it didn’t eat any houses in its fury.

Unfortunately, sometimes there isn’t anything they can do but try to contain the damage as much as possible, which seems to have been the case last Friday in the early morning hours when the sixplex in Duncan was struck by flames. The did their best, as they always do, but they can’t perform miracles.

And we all have to help them out.

After all, the very best fire is the one that doesn’t have a chance to start (unless you’re roasting marshmallows, but that’s a whole other kind of fire). Which is what fire prevention week is all about. As terrible as it is for the families who have lost everything, the Duncan fire can serve as a wake-up call for our entire community to make sure we all check our smoke alarms. Get the chimney inspected and if need be, cleaned out before lighting a fire as the days cool. If you’ve been ignoring the frayed cords on an appliance, it’s time to deal with those. Are you always careful that your atmospheric candles are lit away from the drapes and other flammables?

And do you have a plan to get out if the worst happens? Take a few minutes now so our firefighters can have a good sleep for another night.

Just Posted

Drivesmart column: Fear of police retaliation

While I won’t say that this is impossible, I would certainly like to think that it is highly unlikely

Cowichan Div. 2 women out-paced in last match of 2018

Soccer team has second game of the weekend postponed by weather

Robert Barron column: Universal child care good for families, and society

I’m pleased that the province is stepping in to start providing $10-per-day childcare spaces

Lynn’s hat trick gets Caps past Salmon Arm

Cowichan wins second game of Interior road trip

From introducing k.d. lang to honouring Gordon Lightfoot, Cowichan Theatre has had busy 40 years

40-year retrospective has offered theatregoers a glimpse of Cowichan’s entertainment history

VIDEO: Cobble Hill welcomes Christmas with frolicsome show

From lovely carols to humorous skits: a big crowd enjoyed it all on Sunday, Dec. 9

Coming up in Cowichan: Celebrate the second floor with the HUB

Celebrate the second floor this weekend at HUB at Cowichan Station Dec.… Continue reading

Crossword puzzle clues Dec. 14

Oops. Attention all crossword puzzle fans: the clues in the Friday, Dec.… Continue reading

GoFundMe helps Vancouver Island teen battle a rare cancer

Nanaimo’s Michelle Reilly, 16, battling spinal cord cancer, seeking possible treatment in U.S.

Canada’s ambassador meets with second detainee in China

Global Affairs says John McCallum, Canada’s ambassador to China, met with Spavor Sunday

‘They’re coming:’ Flying cars may appear in urban skies by 2023

Air taxis will number 15,000 and become a global market worth $32 billion by 2035

B.C. VIEWS: Andrew Wilkinson on taxes, ICBC and union changes

Opposition leader sees unpredictable year ahead in 2019

5 tips for self-care, mental wellness this holiday season

Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions urging British Columbians to prioritize self care through festive season

Rescued B.C. cat with misshapen legs in need of forever home – with carpet

Mirielle was born with misshapen back legs and after a tough life on the streets, is looking for a forever home.

Most Read