Editorial: Sixplex fire stark reminder on Fire Prevention Week

We all have to help our firefighters out.

The irony that our front page story on Wednesday was about a fire that left a number of families homeless, while inside was our special section for Fire Prevention Week (Oct. 7-13) is not lost on us.

Every year in mid-October when the awareness week comes around we commit pages to celebrate our hardworking Cowichan Valley firefighters and departments. This year photographer Malcolm Chalmers travelled the Valley in the weeks before, photographing our fire departments and their chiefs. What’s really remarkable about these folks is that in the Cowichan Valley, they are all volunteers.

Without them giving of their time and seemingly boundless energy there would be far more catastrophic blazes than there are. Think what would have happened this summer when a wildfire broke out terrifyingly near the village of Crofton, and our firefighters spent days making sure it didn’t eat any houses in its fury.

Unfortunately, sometimes there isn’t anything they can do but try to contain the damage as much as possible, which seems to have been the case last Friday in the early morning hours when the sixplex in Duncan was struck by flames. The did their best, as they always do, but they can’t perform miracles.

And we all have to help them out.

After all, the very best fire is the one that doesn’t have a chance to start (unless you’re roasting marshmallows, but that’s a whole other kind of fire). Which is what fire prevention week is all about. As terrible as it is for the families who have lost everything, the Duncan fire can serve as a wake-up call for our entire community to make sure we all check our smoke alarms. Get the chimney inspected and if need be, cleaned out before lighting a fire as the days cool. If you’ve been ignoring the frayed cords on an appliance, it’s time to deal with those. Are you always careful that your atmospheric candles are lit away from the drapes and other flammables?

And do you have a plan to get out if the worst happens? Take a few minutes now so our firefighters can have a good sleep for another night.

Just Posted

Editorial: Permanent state of drug crisis is unacceptable

No indication that the opioid crisis is waning says that what we’re doing isn’t working.

Rubgy keeps Mill Bay’s Ciaran Breen moving

Shawnigan student on national squad for World School Sevens and XV California tour

Candy Cane Cabaret in Duncan an adult show featuring Passion and Performance students

“Our audiences cheer, hoot, holler and enjoy a raucous environment”

Prosecution in Colin John murder trial wrapping up in Duncan

John on trial for stabbing death in Chemainus in 2016

VIDEO: Close encounter with a whale near Canada-U.S border

Ron Gillies had his camera ready when a whale appeared Dec. 7

B.C. Lions hire DeVone Claybrooks as head coach

Former Stampeders DC succeeds CFL legend Wally Buono

France shooting: 2 dead, several wounded in Strasbourg

A world-famous Christmas market was put on lock down on Tuesday

Canadian warship witnesses possible violations of North Korea sanctions

Crew members on HMCS Calgary took photos and collected other information

Christine Sinclair named Canadian Women’s player of the year again

This is the 14th time Sinclair has been named player of the year

B.C. man wants trapping laws changed after dog killed

Louis Seguin’s 10-month-old Australian shepherd died in a body-gripping trap last month

Nearly 8,000 homeless in B.C., first province-wide count reveals

Twenty-four seperate counts in B.C. cities found there are thousands of homeless in all corners of province

Mental health issue suspected after spike belts end Island Highway car chase

Woman in her 30s detained after Tuesday afternoon incident in Lantzville

Most Read