Lighting a backyard fire to sit around for an evening proved a little too toasty for a garden shed at a property on Townsite Road.
Firefighters arrived to find a shed fully engulfed in flame at about 2:30 a.m. Monday at 934 Townsite Rd.
“Two fellows had been outside earlier with one of those backyard fire pits and they smoked and had mosquito incense burning,” said Ennis Mond, Nanaimo Fire Rescue fire prevention officer.
Mond said he was not sure whether it was smoking, the mosquito coils or the fire pit that started the blaze, but the fire pit is the prime suspect. The pit had a metal cover that was not adequate to keep a north wind from possibly blowing embers out of the pit and onto tinder in the yard or the shed itself, which was located less than three metres away from the fire. The fire pit was also not doused with water before the men turned in for the night.
“That’s what we’re suspecting at this time,” Mond said. “They’d gone to bed and then one of the guys woke up and heard the crackling and snapping sound of something burning.
The shed and its contents were destroyed. Shrubbery and fencing were also damaged by the fire, but there was no damage to the main house and no one was injured.
Because of dry summer conditions, there is currently a ban on all outdoor fires, other than small cooking fires, in Nanaimo.
“Somehow the message isn’t getting out to all the people,” Mond said.