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Crews respond to three RV fires in Campbell River in February

With more people living in RVs, Fire Chief stresses taking safety precautions
Campbell River fire crews attended three RV fires last month. Photo by Ronan O’Doherty / Campbell River Mirror

Campbell River Fire crews responded to three separate RV calls throughout the month of February, prompting the Fire Chief to ask people living in recreational vehicles to be careful.

This past weekend was especially busy for fire crews, starting with a 25 foot motorhome on fire in the backyard of a home on Garfield Road.

“On the 25th at 8:25 in the morning we responded out to the 1800 block of Garfield Road,” said chief Thomas Doherty. “We discovered a 25 foot motorhome in the backyard of a home there that had fire inside the unit. There was a second motorhome parked right up beside it. We were able to contain that one quickly. There was one person that was in the motorhome at the time of the fire, but they were uninjured and able to escape.”

Doherty said that he believed the occupant of the motorhome was living in it.

The next day, another recreational vehicle caught fire, this time on Westgate Road at around 5 p.m.

“That one there was heavy damage to the inside of that fifth wheel,” Doherty said. “I don’t think anybody was in it when we arrived, but I believe (someone was living in it).”

The first fire of the month occurred on Feb. 1. Doherty said it was a 20 foot travel trailer parked near a home. The home sustained damage, but the fire was contained quickly.

“I think what we’re seeing is a trend of more and more people who are either choosing to live in RVs or are forced to live in RVs. We’re starting to see a lot more of these types of incidents occurring,” Doherty said. “If there’s a message out there, it’s just to ensure that all of the appliances and everything have been maintained correctly, whether that’s cooking equipment or anything that needs electrical servicing. Also make sure that the units have working smoke alarms in them. A number of the ones that we’ve attended so far, we haven’t discovered any working smoke alarms, (which are important) particularly if people are sleeping in them.”

Two fires were likely caused by electrical issues, and one was from smoking materials, Doherty said.

“Whether people are choosing to reside in an RV on a property somewhere or are renting out an RV, just make sure to check with the City or local government to make sure of any zoning requirements about that,” he said. “Quite often we’re seeing overloaded electrical circuits in these, and some of them are being plugged into homes.”

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