At this rate, a property that once housed a number of buildings will soon become barren.
Tuesday, August 23, at around 9:30 p.m., the Town of Lake Cowichan’s alarm went off, signaling Lake Cowichan Fire Department volunteers out to 8001 Greendale Road for the second time in a month.
This time around, a house at the front of the property was ablaze, ending the night gutted by fire.
The lone occupant of the building was able to escape serious injury by crawling through a ground-level window.
“He was treated for smoke inhalation and released,” a Lake Cowichan RCMP press release reads.
“The owner, who resides in a separate residence on the property, was alerted to the fire when he saw the trucks pull up.”
A neighbour had called 911 after spotting the fire.
The bulk of the actual fire appeared at the rear of the building, which exploded in high-reaching flames when firefighters smashed out the back windows.
Lake Cowichan firefighters filled a pool in the middle of the street with water, which they pumped out to douse the flaming house.
After the bulk of the fire was out, firefighters used chainsaws and axes to cut holes in the roof, letting smoke escape as other members entered the building.
Paramedics were on-site to treat fire victims, though no one appears to have been seriously injured as a result of the fire.
As of 11:30 p.m. – after about an hour-and-a-half on the scene – volunteer firefighters were still working on the building.
Although there were no longer visible flames, the smoke was far from settled, and was seen billowing out of the roof.
The property owner is Mike Scholey, who operated a mushroom buyer businesses out of a work shed on the property, which went up in flames August 2; exactly three weeks before the August 23 fire.
The shed, which had been used for sorting mushrooms, was completely destroyed in the blaze, while a trailer at the rear of the property suffered heat damage.
After the first incident, Lake Cowichan RCMP Cpl. Krista Hobday informed the Gazette that “The property is very well known to police.”
Both fires are being treated as suspicious by the RCMP.
“We feel that they may be connected. It’s too suspicious and coincidental,” Lake Cowichan RCMP Cpl. Warren Potter said.
“There are a couple of people of interest that I wouldn’t call suspects at this point. It’s still being investigated.”
Anyone with information regarding this incident or any other suspicious incident is asked to call their local police office or Crimestoppers.
Lake Cowichan RCMP can be contacted at 250-749-6668, while Crimestoppers is 1-800-222-8477.