Nanaimo firefighters tackle trio of weekend blazes

NANAIMO – Smouldering ashes start three fires in Nanaimo homes over weekend.

Firefighters battled three house fires sparked by smouldering ashes over the weekend.

Four people are temporarily displaced from a house at 5589 Clipper Dr. after fireplace ashes in a garbage bag caught the front deck of the house on fire.

Fire crews were called out at about 5:30 p.m. for that blaze.

“It spread up the vinyl siding, through the soffits and up into the attic space,” said Capt. Ennis Mond, Nanaimo Fire Rescue fire prevention officer.

Hydro to the home had to be disconnected when the flames damaged electricity supply lines to the house.

The woman who owns the home and three renters were given temporary lodging by the city.

The homeowner is insured and no one was injured.

On Saturday, shortly after 9 p.m., a similar fire broke out, igniting the back deck and wall of a home at 574 Bradley St.

“That was careless-smoking related,” said Rick Kwasnecha, fire prevention officer.

Flames extended up the exterior wall and got into the attic space above the home’s kitchen, forcing firefighters to pull down the ceiling of the kitchen to get at hot spots in the attic.

No one was injured and the homeowner was insured.

Two tenants living in the upstairs of the house, who were not insured, were given temporary lodging through the city’s emergency assistance program.

Wood stove ashes were also the ignition source for a minor fire that damaged the siding of a house at 3766 Apsley St. shortly before 11 a.m. Saturday.

Kwasnecha said the fire started in the exterior of the carport after wood stove ashes were placed in a bucket outside.

Kwasnecha and Mond said all three fires were preventable.

“So the safety message in this is make sure you extinguish your cigarette butts and put your wood stove ashes in a proper, non-combustible container until you make sure they’re out,” Mond said.