Candles left unattended ignited a fire that destroyed a motorhome Sunday afternoon in Nanaimo. It was one of three serious blazes firefighters fought on the same day. (GREG SAKAKI/The News Bulletin)

Investigators determine causes of two weekend fires in Nanaimo

Candles and electrical malfunction, respectively, triggered blazes

Nanaimo Fire Rescue investigators have determined the causes of two fires that destroyed a motorhome and a condominium in the city on the weekend.

Candles left burning unattended were the source of a blaze that resulted in the total loss of a motorhome Sunday afternoon at a construction site on Bruce Avenue.

“The motorhome fire, [it was] candles,” said Capt. Ennis Mond, Nanaimo Fire Rescue’s chief fire prevention officer.

A condominium fire on Pryde Avenue on Sunday night was sparked by an electrical malfunction that either originated in an extension cord or a charging unit that was located under a bunk bed in a child’s bedroom.

“The boy was in bed and he looked down and he could see a little puff of smoke … he could see a little smoke coming from under his bunk bed,” Mond said. “He went down to grab the fire extinguisher and when he came back up the room was full of smoke.”

A man, a woman and their three children have been displaced by the fire. The family has been provided temporary lodging through the city’s Emergency Social Services program.

Eight pet rabbits were rescued from the fire and two cats, unaccounted for, were assumed to have fled safely, Mond said.

The cause of a fire that broke out in a in a vacant house at 844 Eaton St. shortly before 4 a.m. Sunday has not been determined. Extensive damage that caused the roof to cave in has prevented fire investigators from entering the structure. There are no known injuries associated with the blaze.

“All I can say is it’s secured and it’s too much of a hazard to get in,” Mond said.

The house was gutted by a previous fire in October 2015.

Mond said the fire will be investigated when the building is made safe for investigators to enter.

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