The Campbell River Fire Department responded to four structure fires in the course of a week, including one deemed suspicious at 1751 Perkins Rd. towards midnight on Saturday, June 15. Photo courtesy Campbell River Fire Department

Campbell River firefighters respond to four structure fires in a week

North Campbell River fire deemed ‘suspicious’

The Campbell River Fire Department responded to four structure fires in the course of a week, including one deemed suspicious, according to Fire Chief Thomas Doherty.

On Friday afternoon, firefighters attended a fire involving an electric smoker on the rear deck of a home on the 600 block of Christopher Road, in the Robron area.

In a post on Twitter, the fire department thanked a neighbour who isolated the power to the smoker.

“When crews arrived, we were met by neighbours who informed us an electric smoker was on fire on the back deck and it was up against the house,” Doherty said in an email. “The homeowners were not home at the time of the fire. The smoker was destroyed as a result of the fire, crews checked for fire extension to the home and found none.”

On Thursday morning, firefighters responded to a report of smoke at another Robron area location, on the 700 block of Galerno Road. This fire was traced to a sauna.

“When crews arrived they found smoke in the basement of the home, the occupants had evacuated safely,” Doherty said in an email. “Firefighters entered the building and located the fire in a sauna room in the basement. Crews were able to extinguish the fire quickly with minimal damage. Crews then ventilated the home to clear it of smoke.”

Combustible material was left on the sauna heater, and it ignited when the heater was inadvertently turned on, Doherty said. He said the homeowners were able to return home after the smoke was cleared.

Previously there was a fire on Linnea Place, in the Stories Beach area, on the morning of Monday, June 17. The cause of that incident was a cigarette butt in a plastic container.

“The homeowner had put discarded cigarette material into a combustible container on the second-floor deck,” Doherty said in an interview.

Plastic dripped through gaps in the decking to the area below, where it landed on combustibles.

“The homeowner used an extinguisher and some buckets of water to extinguish before we got there,” Doherty said. Crews remained on-scene to ensure there was no extension of the fire.

Firefighters responded to a suspicious incident at 1751 Perkins Rd., in North Campbell River, towards midnight on Saturday, June 15.

A fire spread across the ground from a tent to the exterior vinyl wall of a cabin and into its roof, Doherty said.

“The fire appears to have started in a small sort of a tent camp,” he said. “It spread across the vegetation, burning up the side of the cabin… and into the roof structure.”

The cabin that caught fire was vacant and there were no injuries.

Firefighters were able to prevent major damage to the cabin, Doherty said. The fire also spread to a tree and into the grass of a neighbouring property, but it was brought under control.

READ MORE: Fire displaces resident from mobile home in Campbell River

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The tent didn’t belong to the primary homeowner on the property, who said there were “people frequenting the tent,” according to Doherty. It’s unclear who owned the tent, he said, adding that “the fire is being treated as suspicious.”

Cst. Maury Tyre of the Campbell River RCMP said in a June 18 email the Perkins Road fire is under investigation.

“It is not clear at this time whether the fire was started by any act of criminality,” Tyre said.

The string of structure fires comes amid very dry conditions and follows record-breaking heat. A full fire ban is now in effect for the city, including beach fires.

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The Campbell River Fire Department responded to four structure fires in the course of a week, including one deemed suspicious at 1751 Perkins Rd. towards midnight on Saturday, June 15. Photo courtesy Campbell River Fire Department

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