A photo taken by Campbell River Fire Chief Thomas Doherty shows the scene of a recent kitchen fire.

Fire chief says structure fires on the rise in Campbell River

Structure fire incidents in South Campbell River have tripled, says Doherty

The Campbell River Fire Department says firefighters are responding to a rising number of structure fires this year, many of them starting in kitchens.

“We saw a spike in kitchen-related fires in 2018, and so far in 2019 that trend is continuing to increase,” said Fire Chief Thomas Doherty in an email. “In a number of these kitchen incidents, occupants indicated being preoccupied or distracted when using the stove or oven.”

In some instances, combustible materials were placed on or near the stove, he said. When the stoves were accidentally turned on, fires quickly spread to the cabinets above.

And in two incidents, items stored in ovens ignited when turned on.

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Overall, there’s been a 23 per cent increase in structure fire-related incidents compared to the same period in 2018, he said.

The city’s south end in particular is seeing an alarming increase in the number of fires, Doherty said.

“In 2019, structure fire incidents in the south have tripled compared to the same time frame in 2018,” he said.

Doherty provided this rundown of incidents from April 30 to May 7:

April 30: Structure fire on Croation Road. Kitchen fire, substantial damage to kitchen with one person transported to hospital to be treated for smoke inhalation.

May 2: Structure fire at 2006 Sierra Drive. Kitchen fire causing minor damage, with fire contained to stove, smoke throughout house.

May 5: Smoke in a structure, 1900 block of Holm Place. Faulty furnace circuit board, minimal damage.

May 6: Crews responded to a report of structure fire at 3700 block of South Island Highway. Illegal backyard burn, not a structure fire.

May 7: Structure fire at 800 Block of Erickson Road. Fire in kitchen, damage to stove, kitchen cabinets and range hood, smoke throughout house.

May 7: Structure fire at 951 Homewood Road. Fire in kitchen, fire contained to the oven, smoke throughout home.


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