Fire crews had a portion of Highway 19A in Qualicum Beach blocked off Monday night due to a structure fire. Firefighters had the fire contained within 15 minutes. — Photo submitted by Darryl Kohse

Qualicum Beach department responds to basement fire

Crews were assisted by Parksville, Coombs-Hilliers, Errington and Dashwood departments

A basement suite fire in Qualicum Beach was contained within minutes by personnel from Qualicum Beach Fire Department and four other departments Monday evening, Feb. 12.

Part of a basement suite of a two-storey home on the 3000 block of Highway 19A caught fire Monday night around 7 p.m., said Qualicum Beach fire chief Darryl Kohse. The QBFD had assistance from the Parksville, Coombs-Hilliers, Errington and Dashwood departments. RCMP, B.C. Ambulance Service and B.C. Hydro were also on scene.

No one was home at the time of the fire, Kohse said, and the department is still investigating the cause of the fire. Traffic on Highway 19A was re-routed for about an hour while firefighters worked at the scene.

Kohse said a neighbour had called in the fire and the department was at the scene within eight to 10 minutes of the call.

“Then, within 15 minutes, we had the fire under control which started in the suite down below,” Kohse told Black Press.

“It’s not suspicious,” he said. “It looks like something might have happened in the kitchen; maybe something was left on the stove, but we’re still not quite sure exactly at this time until we talk to the lady that lives there.”

Most of the damage, Kohse said, was contained to the suite’s kitchen.

According to a Facebook post, the departments spent “a good part of an hour overhauling the fire and putting out hotspots.”

Kohse said crews rerouted traffic around Laburnum Road and Crescent Road.

“We had to shut down the highway (19A) for about an hour because we had the fire hose going across the road,” he said.

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