Nanaimo Fire Rescue crews attack a fire in a motorhome at Esplanade and Irwin Street on Monday afternoon. (CHRIS BUSH/The News Bulletin)

Nanaimo Fire Rescue crews attack a fire in a motorhome at Esplanade and Irwin Street on Monday afternoon. (CHRIS BUSH/The News Bulletin)

UPDATE: Electrical short caused motorhome fire

Nanaimo Fire Rescue extinguished blaze Monday afternoon on Esplanade and Irwin Street

Crews were called out after a motorhome caught fire Monday afternoon on the south downtown waterfront.

Nanaimo Fire Rescue crews were called to Esplanade at Irwin Street a little after 2 p.m. Dec. 9 to deal with a burning RV and quickly extinguished the blaze.

“There was concerns with some propane cylinders that were inside the vehicle, but [firefighters] were able to extinguish it,” said Geoff Whiting, Nanaimo Fire Rescue assistant chief of operations. “There is extensive fire damage to the vehicle.”

He said two male residents of the motorhome will be displaced. Nobody was inside the RV when the fire broke out, but one of the occupants had just left to do laundry and was nearby, said Whiting.

Fire investigators were on scene immediately to try to determine the cause of the blaze. Alan Millbank, Nanaimo Fire Rescue fire prevention officer, said the cause of the fire was due to a malfunction in the vehicle’s electrical panel.

“They were trying to get the batteries charged up to start the vehicle, so they could move it, and it shorted out at the panel,” Millbank said. “I guess it’s 1976 when that thing was built and all the wires had frayed. They couldn’t get it started so the … occupant went to do some laundry and when he came back it was on fire.”

The vehicle was insured through ICBC, but Millbank did not know if it was insured against fire.