Family Day fire in Sahtlam contained to garage

“…the carbon had gotten hot enough to actually start to burn like little barbecue briquettes.”

A fire on Carolyn Way in Sahtlam kept firefighters busy Monday afternoon.

The original call for the Sahtlam Fire Department went out about 4:30 p.m. and crews rushed to the single storey wood-framed structure to find smoke billowing out of the garage.

Not long thereafter a mutual aid request was sent to the Lake Cowichan department for water support.

“I wasn’t sure exactly what we were getting into. I wanted them there for backup for water, especially at the initial stage,” explained Sahtlam fire chief Randy Busch.

“Most of the fire calls that we get called to, because of the nature of our district, it’s usually quite involved by the time we get there so it needs a lot of water and attention right away.”

Fortunately, he said, this time that was not the case.

“It was sealed up fairly tight and it kept everything dampened down so when we got there it was smoke and a small fire inside that we were able to extinguish the main part of it fairly quickly,” Busch said.

Most of the time after that was spent checking for hot spots and extension of the fire.

With no hydrant nearby, firefighters were drawing water from the Cowichan River to replenish their tanks.

After a few hours spent at the home in the late afternoon, a crew was called back again later that evening.

“There was a rekindle,” Busch confirmed. “Part of the ventilation system has carbon filters and the carbon had gotten hot enough to actually start to burn like little barbecue briquettes.”

The home’s owners were still on site and called firefighters back.

Busch believes the fire was electrical in nature but is waiting on the investigation results for the official word.

“That’s my best guess,” he said. “We won’t really know until the investigation happens and we get down to the nitty gritty.”

There were no injuries as a result of the fire.

“The people were home at the time and they called it in. They saw the smoke and everybody was out by the time we got there,” said the chief.

The home’s living space did have some smoke damage though.

“The residence part of the house, not the garage but the residence part, had a little bit of smoke go into it but no [fire] penetrated that side,” Busch confirmed.

Even so, the family will need a professional restoration company to clean and assess the home for habitability.



sarah.simpson@cowichanvalleycitizen.com

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