Lantzville volunteer firefighters hose down a truck destroyed by fire that was parked in the driveway of a house on Clark Drive Thursday afternoon. A neighbour burning weeds in his own driveway accidentally caught the hedges adjacent to the truck on fire. The fire spread to the truck and nearly to the house as well before firefighters caught it.

Propane torch incident ignites hedges, truck and house

A fire that destroyed a Lantzville man's truck, some hedges and damaged his house Thursday afternoon was caused by a propane torch.

A fire that destroyed a Lantzville man’s truck, some hedges and damaged his house Thursday afternoon was caused by a spark from his next door neighbour’s propane torch.

Chris Cutler was burning weeds in his driveway on Clark Drive around lunchtime when he said a spark caught the tall cedar hedges bordering his property on fire.

He said in the five seconds it took for him to grab the garden hose on hand, the fire had spread right to the top of the hedges.

“I had a hose, water with me, but I couldn’t control it,” said Cutler.

From the hedges, the blaze spread quickly to his neighbour’s work truck and then, as the truck was parked right next to the house, began melting the siding on the house.

The Lantzville Volunteer Fire Department received the call at about 12:45 p.m. and was on scene just before 1 p.m.

Deputy fire chief John Marment said if firefighters arrived much later, the house would have been on fire – the siding was just starting to melt when crews got there.

He said while the neighbour did not violate any burning bylaws, volunteer firefighters rely on the common sense of citizens.

“The guy took all the necessary precautions, but it still happened,” said Marment. “It has been dry for quite a while.”

The truck destroyed was a work vehicle with tools and a diesel fuel tank in the back.

Owner John Dunbar was upset about the loss of the truck, but looking on the bright side.

“I’m just glad the house didn’t burn,” he said.

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