Six people escape house fire

Fire investigators believe a dishwasher triggered a small blaze in a single detached home early Friday morning in the 4200 block of Gulfview Drive in north Nanaimo.

Fire investigators believe a dishwasher triggered a small blaze in a house early Friday morning in the 4200 block of Gulfview Drive in north Nanaimo.

Nanaimo Fire Rescue received a call shortly before 5 a.m. and sent six trucks to extinguish the fire, which fire inspector Rick Kwasnecha said was mostly out by the time crews arrived.

“Crews mostly provided ventilation upon arrival but the kitchen of the house received heavy smoke and water damage,” said Kwasnecha.

Six people – a family of four with two young children, who rented the main floor, and two occupants renting the lower suite – escaped the fire, though the father of the children suffered burns to his hands trying to put the fire out. He was sent to hospital and later released.

“The smoke alarm woke them up and saved their lives,” said Kwasnecha. “It did its thing and got the family out of the house. With a fire like this there was a lot of thick, black smoke that is very dangerous.”

No other injuries were reported in the incident.

Kwasnecha said the dishwasher, other appliances and part of the kitchen counter were destroyed in the blaze, and that the kitchen and other parts of the main floor of the house received smoke and water damage. He added that dishwasher fires aren’t common, but can start when something falls on the machine’s heater during use or when there is faulty wiring.

“It’s always a good idea to stay home when running a dishwasher or any appliance,” said Kwasnecha.

The tenants are reported to not have content insurance, but the homeowner does carry house insurance. It is expected the occupants will be able to move back into the house once restoration is complete.