UPDATE: Fire erupts in Brechin Hill home

Firefighters root out hot spots after snuffing out a fire in a home at 410 Larch St., in Nanaimo
Firefighters root out hot spots after snuffing out a fire in a home at 410 Larch St., in Nanaimo's Brechin Hill district, Wednesday. Neighbours called 911 when they saw smoke coming from the back of the house. Flames were erupting from a bedroom window when fire crews arrived. An elderly woman living in the house was not injured. The fire is under investigation.
— image credit: CHRIS BUSH/The News Bulletin

A suspected electrical fire in a Brechin Hill house has left an elderly woman temporarily homeless.

Fire crews were called to the Larch Street house around 4 p.m. Wednesday to find flames pouring out of the woman’s second-floor bedroom and up the side of the house into the eaves.

The woman, who lived in the house by herself, was in the living room when she smelled smoke and called the fire department.

“It was really going when we got here,” said Rick Kwasnecha, fire investigator with Nanaimo Fire Rescue. “The room is totalled.”

There was also heavy smoke damage throughout the upper floor of the house – the smoke was especially thick and black because the fire consumed a foam mattress on the bed, which contains petroleum products – and all furniture and possessions on this floor are a write-off, Kwasnecha added.

Investigators spent hours picking through the charred debris in the bedroom before determining that the fire originated at a power bar plugged into the wall.

“We suspect it was something to do with the power bar,” said Kwasnecha. “Specifically what went wrong on it, we don’t know. It’s certainly nobody’s fault.”

The woman had insurance and the restoration company was already on scene Thursday afternoon.

Kwasnecha said the woman has gone to live with her daughter while her house is repaired.



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