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

Michelle Staples brings understanding of social, economic issues to bid for Duncan mayor

Two-term Duncan councillor Michelle Staples is looking to fill the void left by departing mayor Phil Kent.

Duncan is Vancouver Island’s most walkable community

Victoria also scores well, but most Island communities are car dependent

5 tips for talking to your kids about cannabis

Health officials recommend sharing a harm reduction-related message.

North Cowichan turns down Crofton housing project

Council decides not right project for area

Lexi Bainas column: Mystery, history, music, painting, and pottery: we’ve got a basketful for you this week

From Deathtrap to JW-Jones and Sue Coleman, there are many A&E surprises out there

Cowichan Coffee Time: 70th anniversary, fundraising, new face

• The Cowichan Lake Golden Agers Society is gearing up for their… Continue reading

Coming up in Cowichan: Halloween Train on the tracks, Oktobeerfest

Youbou celebrating fall with Oktobeerfest at the Youbou Hall Oct. 13 in… Continue reading

Private marijuana stores should shut down, Mike Farnworth says

B.C. has approved 62 licences, but they still need local approval

HPV vaccine does not lead to riskier sex among teen girls: UBC

Girls are less likely to have sex now than they were a decade ago

VIDEO: Rescued eagle released in Ucluelet

“I’m very confident that he’s going to make it. He’s done very well.”

Koreas agree to break ground on inter-Korean railroad

The rival Koreas are holding high-level talks Monday to discuss further engagement amid a global diplomatic push to resolve the nuclear standoff with North Korea.

Flash floods kill at least 7 people in southwest France

Flash floods have left several people dead in southwest France, with roads swept away and streams become raging torrents as the equivalent of several months of rain fell overnight, authorities said Monday.

Trump to visit Florida, Georgia; search ongoing for missing

The death toll from Michael’s destructive march from Florida to Virginia stood at 17.

Most Read