Two people escaped unharmed from a trailer fire early on Wednesday morning, and firefighters were able to stop the blaze from spreading to a nearby house. Photo from Campbell River Fire Department/Twitter

UPDATED: Police investigating after fire destroys trailer

Flames lay waste to fifth-wheel trailer and damage surrounding structures

Police are investigating after a blaze destroyed a trailer and damaged nearby property, according to Campbell River RCMP and the fire department.

Firefighters responded to the blaze at 780 Nursery Rd. at about 12:30 a.m. People inside the trailer and a nearby house got away unscathed, said Campbell River fire chief Thomas Doherty.

“There were two people inside the travel trailer at the time of the fire and there were also people inside the home adjacent to it,” said Doherty. “All were able to escape without injury.”

A travel trailer was destroyed by flames in the early hours of Sept. 12. Photo from Campbell River Fire Department/Twitter

Photos posted on Twitter by the fire department show a fifth-wheel trailer reduced to rubble.

“There’s nothing left of it,” said Doherty.

Flames also melted the vinyl siding on a nearby house, but a quick response by fire crews kept the fire from spreading, he said.

“When crews arrived, there was heavy fire from the trailer,” he said. “The home was starting to burn on the sides so crews focused on protecting those exposures.”

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After cooling down the exposed structures – including the house, a shed and a fence – firefighters put out the trailer fire, said Doherty.

Hydro lines were disconnected after being damaged by the heat, he said. The fire also damaged two vehicles.

Melted siding hangs from the wall of a home damaged by fire. Photo from Campbell River Fire Department/Twitterr

A four-person crew from the No. 1 fire hall in downtown Campbell River initially responded, but they called for more support after learning the severity of the blaze.

In total, 13 firefighters from Campbell River’s two fire halls took part in the operation, including volunteers and staff, said Doherty.

“For a fire like that, you need a substantial amount of resources to ensure it’s extinguished properly,” he said.

The fire is considered suspicious, said Doherty. He declined to elaborate, saying that RCMP are investigating and that officials are still working to determine the cause of the fire.

Cpl. Ron Vlooswyk, a spokesperson for the Campbell River RCMP, confirmed that an investigation is ongoing but said it’s too soon to know whether the fire was set deliberately.

“It may or may not be legitimate,” he said.

The midnight blaze followed a series of eight responses by the fire department on Tuesday, including several calls about illegal backyard burning.

Doherty noted that debris burning is allowed only in April and October, and only with a permit.

The BC Wildfire Service lifted a ban on campfires for the Coastal Fire Centre on Tuesday.

The Campbell River Fire Department, which has authority locally, followed suit.

“We’re only allowing recreational-type fires like beach fires,” he said. “You can’t do any backyard burning or waste burning.”

@davidgordonkoch
david.koch@campbellrivermirror.com

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