Cigarette butt the suspected culprit of house fire

Students renting a house in Harewood noticed a fire burning up the side of their building Monday evening fast enough to ensure the inside of the house was not damaged.

Students renting a house in Harewood noticed a fire burning up the side of their building Monday evening fast enough to ensure the inside of the house was not damaged.

Doug Bell, chief fire investigator with Nanaimo Fire Rescue, said firefighters arrived at the house in the 400 block of Lambert Avenue around 8 p.m. to find the vinyl siding on the left side of the two-storey structure on fire.

“We’re suspecting it was a cigarette that ignited it,” he said.

A three-metre area of the siding was damaged by the blaze, which was reported by one of the upstairs tenants after an aerosol can stored near the fire exploded with a loud pop.

The damage was minimal and tenants of both the upstairs and downstairs suites, who are all Vancouver Island University students, were allowed back in the house.