Firefighters mop up after tackling a fire in a bathroom triggered by fumes from a spray-on leak sealant.

Firefighters mop up after tackling a fire in a bathroom triggered by fumes from a spray-on leak sealant.

Leak sealant sparks Nanaimo house fire

NANAIMO – Sealing product fumes fuel fire in double wide modular home.

A leaky bathtub lead to an unexpectedly expensive repair bill when fumes from a sealant sparked a blaze Wednesday.

Firefighters responded to a blaze the bathroom of a 1970s-era double-wide modular home on the 2300 block of Porcupine Hill Trail shortly before 8 p.m.

Ennis Mond, chief fire prevention officer, said the homeowner had made some repairs under the tub and applied a spray-on sealing product to prevent future leakage.

“The product gives off flammable vapours before it cures and right next to the tub, in a concealed space, was a gas-fired hot water tank,” Mond said.

The homeowner finished his task, shut the bathroom door and went to watch some TV while the sealant cured. He became aware of a problem when he heard snapping and crackling noises coming from the bathroom and discovered fire burning under the tub.

Mond said fortunately, the fire was partially knocked down by water spraying from melted plumbing pipes before firefighters arrived and fire damage was contained to the bathroom, but there was some smoke damage to the rest of the home.

Mond also said smoke detectors in the modular had been deactivated because of false alarms triggered by cooking. He said if the people living there had been asleep when the fire broke out results could have been tragic.

Mond recommends thoroughly reading instructions of products that emit flammable fumes before using and to always maintain functioning smoke alarms in homes.

The homeowners are insured.