This photo taken later in the day Wednesday shows the damage to the home. Photo by Oyster River FD

Early morning Oyster River fire badly damages home

Two people and three pets escaped a house fire in Oyster River on Bracken Road early Wednesday morning, which saw a shop/garage destroyed and left the home badly damaged.

Oyster River fire chief Bruce Green said when he arrived on scene shortly after the fire began around 1:40 a.m., the fire was starting to spread to the home.

“When I got there, the garage was gone. I think it was a shop under construction,” he explained to CTV Vancouver Island.

Green said the fire travelled up the wall of the garage/shop and across the attic of the home.

He credited the firefighters on scene who rapidly attacked the fire and were able to get it out.

“Fortunately we have a mutual aid partner with Courtenay who sent us a tender for water because we’re in a rural area without hydrants, and they also sent us an engine with firefighters to help relieve our guys when they got tired.”

In total, he noted there were about 26 firefighters, three engines and two tenders on scene, and took about an hour and a half to get the fire under control. Crews remained on scene until 7:30 a.m. Wednesday.

Neighbour Alice Knott said one of the residents is nine months pregnant, and woke up to the sound of what she thought was her cat drinking water from the bathtub, “because she could hear some crackling noise.”

She added the couple just finished doing major renovations, and doesn’t believe they have content insurance.

“(She’s) a young mom about to give birth. My prayers are out there for that family … the shop – there’s nothing left – it just burnt to the ground. That was going to be his livelihood.”

A GoFundMe page has been set up to assist the family with donations.