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Firefighters rush to house fire in Nanaimo's Harewood area

Blaze broke out on Abby Lane on June 10
Nanaimo Fire Rescue firefighters extinguish a house fire on Abby Lane Avenue on Monday, June 10.

Firefighters put out a fire that damaged a house in Harewood this afternoon.

Nanaimo Fire Rescue crews rushed with four trucks to the scene on Abby Lane off Howard Avenue at about 4:25 p.m. on Monday, June 10, after receiving reports of smoke and flames coming from a house.

Next-door neighbour Russ Der said he heard a noise outside and wondered if his wife had come home.

“I looked out the window, saw what it was and I quickly called 911 as I was running out and then I grabbed a garden hose and started hosing it down as best I could,” Der said.

He said smoke and fire were billowing out of the roof at the back of house and the patio was on fire.

Capt. Jody Lucas, Nanaimo Fire Rescue, and his crew from Fire Station #1 were the first firefighters on scene. 

"We pulled on scene and we had heavy smoke and flames showing from the [back] side of the structure," Lucas said. "Upon further investigation we found out that all the occupants that reside here had left the building."

Lucas said firefighters then knocked down the blaze on the back of the house and sent a team of firefighters inside the house to do primary and secondary searches for people and pets and received an "all clear" confirming all occupants were out of the home. 

Lucas confirmed no one was injured in the incident and that the fire appeared to have started at the back of the house, but could not say what sparked the blaze. 

"We have [fire investigators] on route right now and they will look into that and investigate it a little further," he said. 

Troy Libbus, Nanaimo Fire Rescue assistant chief of operations, said Tuesday, June 11, said investigators determined the fire was started by a discarded cigarette.

"It was caused by smoking, so, a discarded cigarette from the back," Libbus said. 

Libbus confirmed the house was home to a family of six, they have insurance and the insurance company provided shelter. 

"They were very grateful for the work that Nanaimo Fire Rescue did and that no one got injured ... and they had working smoke detectors, which was great," he said. 

Libbus said cigarettes should be snuffed out in a metal container with water, such as a metal bucket or coffee tin, and kept away from the house and combustible materials. 

"Always be aware of discarded cigarettes," he said. "They can become a problem later if they are not discarded appropriately."


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