Firefighters battle a structure fire at a property on Spruston Road in Cassidy on Wednesday night. GREG SAKAKI/The News Bulletin

UPDATE: Cause of fire at hoarders’ house ‘suspicious and undetermined’

Regional District of Nanaimo had recently directed a cleanup of ‘unsightly’ property

A hoarders’ house in Cassidy burned down last night.

An abandoned home on Spruston Road was destroyed by a blaze that broke out just before 10:50 p.m. on Wednesday.

Cranberry Volunteer Fire Department crews found a fully involved structure fire when they arrived on scene, and North Cedar Fire Department was called to provide assistance.

Neighbours said the property had been recently cleaned up at the direction of the Regional District of Nanaimo.

“They told me that it was basically a hoarder house and it was also deemed uninhabitable,” said Ron Gueulette, Cranberry fire chief. “And it was a no-go for firefighters because it was dangerous.”

He said if the yard hadn’t had its recent cleanup, firefighters wouldn’t have even gone on the property. As it was, crews focused on a defensive exterior attack, knocked down the fire to keep it from spreading but then basically just let the structure burn.

“Just imagine a house that’s jam-packed full from floor to ceiling of who knows what. It’s just too dangerous to get around there…” the fire chief said. “You don’t risk your guys when you’re not going to save anything that’s worthwhile. It was already deemed a derelict building and had to come down anyway.”

He said considering that there was no electricity servicing the property, he’s deemed the fire “suspicious and undetermined” and turned the file over to Ladysmith RCMP.

A staff report in October from Tom Armet, RDN manager of building and bylaw services, referred to the property, 1415 Spruston Rd., as “unsightly” and noted that the “amount of debris, discarded materials and derelict vehicles on the property is extensive and may include hazardous materials, requiring specialized removal procedures. The area fire chief and the police have expressed concerns about the safety of first responders in the event of a fire or other emergency occurring on or near the property.”

The report estimated that 100 truckloads would be required to haul away all the material from the yard.

The Regional District of Nanaimo obtained a B.C. Supreme Court order in July 2007 directing the homeowners to clean up the property. In July 2017, the B.C. Supreme Court found the property owners in contempt of court for failing to comply with the terms of the 2007 ruling, and ordered them to “remove all refuse, tires, pallets and plastic containers from the lands” at their own expense.



editor@nanaimobulletin.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Salmon runs produce highs and lows on Vancouver Island this year

Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada releases information bulletin

Customers at new Quality Foods finding spare change for Coins for Kids

Charity getting a boost from new bigger, busier Harewood location

Handmade Christmas presents helped support schools foundation

NANAIMO – Handmade for the Holidays craft fair was held Friday and Saturday at NDSS

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: It’s better to solve noise problem than to move away

I think it is preferable to try to solve a problem with negotiation and advocacy, says letter writer

Gift givers encouraged to ‘give library’ this holiday season

Specially packaged library cards available for Nanaimo residents

VIDEO: This B.C. school leads country in vaccine donations to UNICEF

Federally funded Kids Boost Immunity uses quizzes to earn vaccinations

Chamber wants to know about Nanaimo’s best Christmas light displays

Greater Nanaimo Chamber of Commerce, News Bulletin partner on Spirit of Christmas Light Up

Boeser scores 3, Pettersson has 5 points as Canucks hammer Blues

Vancouver picks up impressive 6-1 win in St. Louis

Snuneymuxw chief says women’s transition house ‘responds to a need’

Province provides update on indigenous women’s shelter project in Nanaimo

Nanaimo councillors nudge potential tax increase down to 4.97 per cent

Budget deliberations continued this week, e-town hall meeting is Dec. 10

B.C. police stop drunk driver who offered up burger instead of ID

Roadblock checks over the weekend found at least two other impaired drivers

In Canada, the term ‘nationalism’ doesn’t seem to have a bad rap. Here’s why

Data suggest that Canadians don’t see the concept of nationalism the way people do in the United States

Small quake recorded west of Vancouver Island

No injuries or tsunami warning after 5.4 rumble felt some 400 kilometres from Victoria

B.C. suspends Chinese portion of Asian forestry trade mission due to Huawei arrest

Huawei’s chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou was detained at the request of U.S. in Vancouver

Most Read