UPDATE: Massive Monday morning fire destroys Chemainus home

A massive fire destroyed a home on Waynes Road on the Stz’uminus Reserve outside Chemainus Monday morning.

Five of the six occupants were at home at the time plus the family dog, but all managed to get out safely.

The fire was fully involved when firefighters from the Crofton, Chemainus and Ladysmith fire departments arrived on the scene.

Relatives in neighbouring houses watched with sinking hearts as the fire quickly spread, but were glad for the safety of their loved ones.

“It’s horrifying,” Wayne Guerin told CHEK News. “They got the clothes on their back.”

Tammy Gibson’s daughter was among those inside when the fire broke out.

“Within minutes, it’s just gone,” she observed of the house.

William Pierre, 50, was obviously distraught as he watched the flames devour the home.

“It started in the carport,” he told the Chemainus Courier. “We just all took off. We saw the smoke coming out.”

His youngest son was in town at the time, he said, but came back immediately once he heard what was happening.

The other occupants included Pierre’s wife, a daughter and her boyfriend and another son.

Other family members live quite close, including George Gibson, who’s been in the same residence for 63 years. He expects to help out Pierre, his brother-in-law, and others in the family as required and more in the neighbourhood are likely to do all they can as well during this difficult time.

“I can’t let them be out in the cold,” Gibson reasoned.

He observed the fire from his deck and “it just started underneath the carport,” he said. “All of a sudden, it went ‘bang’ all over the place. She went up really fast.”

The stubborn fire kept firefighters busy for several hours as it continued to spread throughout the house, leaving just a skeleton of the structure at the end.

Just when firefighters seemed to have it contained, the flames accelerated again and huge, thick smoke could be seen shooting into the sky for miles.

Chemainus Road was closed in both directions while hoses were spread from a hydrant on the other side of the road to the site.

Just Posted

Weekend commuter bus from Cowichan to Victoria sees success in first year

It’s been a case of “use and it and it might expand”… Continue reading

John murder trial at Duncan courthouse on pause until spring

John is charged with the May 2016 murder of 20-year-old Derek Descoteau

Business notes: Spade Excavating rides to the rescue of Malahat Legion

Kudos to a Shawnigan Lake business for coming to the rescue when… Continue reading

Thanks but no thanks: CVRD opts out of Meade Creek solar study grant

Meade Creek solar photovoltaic feasibility study was awarded an $11,000 grant

Man caught on camera allegedly trying to defraud ICBC

Auto-insurer warns B.C. drivers to record info after crashes

‘People talk about deep sadness:’ Scientists study climate change grief

Some call it environmental grief, some call it solastalgia — a word coined for a feeling of homesickness when home changes around you.

As protectors abandon Trump, investigation draws closer

Cohen was sentenced Wednesday to three years in prison for an array of crimes.

Senate delays start of sittings in new home, delaying start of broadcasts

The Senate and House of Commons are moving into temporary homes for the next decade as a result of long-planned and badly needed renovations to the Centre Block.

UK leader seeks EU lifeline after surviving confidence vote

EU leaders gather for a two-day summit, beginning Thursday, which will center on the Brexit negotiations.

BCHL’ers blanked by Russia at World Junior A Challenge

Canada West loses battle of the unbeaten teams in the preliminary round

French police try to catch attack suspect dead or alive

Local authorities increase death toll to three, including 13 wounded and five in serious condition

Second Canadian missing in China after questioning by authorities

Michael Spavor, founder of a non-profit that organizes cultural-exchange trips to North Korea, “is presently missing in China”

Cannabis gift ideas for this holiday season

Put the green in happy holidays, now that cannabis is legal in Canada

Most Read