Sahtlam volunteer firefighters were assisted by crews from multiple other halls as they battled a blaze on Cowichan Lake Road on Saturday night. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)

Sahtlam firefighter loses home to blaze

By the next morning heavy machinery was brought in to demolish what remained

A volunteer firefighter and her husband have lost everything to a house fire.

On the night of Saturday, June 8 the Sahtlam fire department was called to a fire in the attic of a home on old Cowichan Lake Road.

“When the call came in it was well underway inside where it couldn’t be seen and as soon as our firefighter, who lives there, noticed it and investigated it, she called it in right away,” said Sahtlam fire chief Randy Busch.

Volunteer firefighter and local mail carrier Lona Maas made the call.

Shortly after her fellow firefighters arrived, the decision was made to call for help from the Lake Cowichan and Duncan departments.

Busch explained that given the location of the house and the type of fire they were looking at, they knew they’d need help with water.

“It doesn’t take very long to spread and getting inside an attic type fire is difficult. Part of it was accessing the house,” he added. “It was tough to get in so we had to stage a little bit further back and tried to work around it. We wanted to hit it hard and get water on it as quick as we could, that takes a lot of water, quick.”

Duncan and Lake Cowichan crews worked to shuttle water from hydrants up and down the rural road.

There was another reason for the mutual aid request, too.

“We had to make sure it was all the exposures and that’s another reason for the quick call out,” he explained.

With a lot of other materials and many trees on the property, combined with extremely dry weather, there was a fear of the flames spreading.

The crews worked through the night but by the next morning heavy machinery was brought in to demolish what remained in an effort to douse the hot spots.

“It’s my understanding is that it will be a total loss,” Busch said. “They had to bring in an excavator to open up parts of the house that we couldn’t get at. There’s substantial damage there.”

Busch said it stung to know the home was that of a colleague.

“It was big-time hard,” he said. “Everybody was obviously quite concerned and quite focused on what they were doing to try to do what you can.”

The community has rallied to help the Maases, however. There’s already a GoFundMe campaign aimed at helping the couple get back on their feet. Visit https://www.gofundme.com/al-and-lona-maas-fire-fund to donate.

Donations are also being accepted at the Sahtlam fire hall.



sarah.simpson@cowichanvalleycitizen.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Drivesmart column: Headlights and aftermarket fraudulent compliance markings

The “LED bulbs” now flooding the market are not a legitimate, safe, effective, or legal product.

Three big shows of ‘Legends and Heroes’ as Carlson’s in Cowichan complete another great season

Hip hop, modern, jazz, ballet, and tap students show their stuff as studio winds up 2018/19

Cowichan Coffee Time: Skills win, and wreath laying in Ottawa

• The Cowichan Valley Board of Education is congratulating Cowichan Secondary School… Continue reading

Alistair MacGregor column: The Canada Revenue Agency wants to hear from Canadians about improving services

The purpose of the consultations is to listen and learn from Canadians

Robert Barron column: It’s good to see kids excited about education

A travelling salesman banged on our door and showed my parents an encyclopedia set

10 facts about Father’s Day

Did you know that the special day for dads was first celebrated in 1910?

Coming up in Cowichan: Spend Father’s Day fishing, or head to the BC Forest Discovery Centre

Deadline coming to register for class reunion The Cowichan Secondary Class of… Continue reading

B.C. VIEWS: When farmland protection doesn’t protect farmers

Secondary residences aren’t mansions, families tell Lana Popham

Bombers down B.C. Lions 33-23 in season opener

Former Lion Andrew Harris leads Winnipeg with 148 rushing yards

Northern B.C. family remembers murdered Indigenous woman with memorial walk

Still no closure for Ramona Wilson’s family 25 years later

Monkey spotted on late-night jaunt in Campbell River

Conservation officers also apparently looking for cougar in the area

B.C. university to offer mentorship program for former youth in care

Students using the provincial tuition waiver program will soon be able to form a community at KPU

Cyclists competing in one of the toughest bike races on the planet pass through Fernie

Divide riders looking strong as they finish first leg of 4160 km race

You might not know these B.C. records are public

Hired a lawyer to file a civil claim? Those are published online

Most Read