Cowichan Valley fire departments busy on Tuesday

Washroom fire, two car crashes keep firefighters moving

A car caught fire after a collision near the intersection of Gibbins, Menzies and Barnjum roads on Tuesday night. (Nonie Sundstrom photo)

A car caught fire after a collision near the intersection of Gibbins, Menzies and Barnjum roads on Tuesday night. (Nonie Sundstrom photo)

Tuesday, March 16, was a busy one for volunteer fire crews and other emergency responders in the Cowichan Valley.

Around 5 p.m., police and paramedics were called to McAdam Park in Duncan for a reported overdose. When they got to the park, there wasn’t a soul around, but what they did find was smoke pouring out of the men’s washroom.

The Duncan fire department arrived and found that someone had lit a toilet dispenser on fire in one of the toilet stalls.

Between the burned dispenser and fire and smoke damage to the stall and the rest of the building, Duncan fire chief Mike McKinlay estimated the cost of the damage at between $5,000 and $10,000.

“The washroom will be out of order for three weeks, at least,” he said.

Just before 9 p.m., a two-vehicle crash on Highway 18 had police, ambulance personnel and Sahtlam firefighters scrambling. The call came in that one car was in the ditch and may have rolled, and someone might be trapped, but that wasn’t the case when they arrived. The lone occupant of the vehicle that was in the ditch had been able to get out on his own.

According to Sahtlam fire chief Randy Busch, the other vehicle wasn’t at the scene at all, and it didn’t turn up in a search along the highway.

Paramedics examined the driver who stayed at the scene, and determined he was fine, if shaken up, and the RCMP helped arrange for him to get home.

About an hour after that, around 10 p.m., another two-vehicle collision was reported on Gibbins Road, near the intersection with Barnjum and Menzies roads. One vehicle was in the ditch, and the other was on fire. North Cowichan’s South End firehall responded along with police and paramedics.

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