An ambulance leaves the scene of a fire in Coombs, where one man was confirmed to be injured. — Adam Kveton

UPDATE: Man injured in Coombs fire released from care

Responders called with report of ‘explosion, structure fire’

A man injured in a residential fire has now been released after what firefighters believe was as explosion.

Local firefighters were called to a remote Coombs property with reports of an explosion and structure fire Tuesday afternoon, July 18.

The fire was reported shortly after 3 p.m. The Coombs-Hilliers Volunteer Fire Department took charge of the scene, though Qualicum Beach, Parksville, Errington and Dashwood fire departments also responded, said Aaron Poirier, fire chief for Coombs-Hilliers. B.C. Ambulance Service personnel were also on scene to treat a male tenant of the residence for possible burns, as well as bumps and bruises, said Poirier.

The fire occurred at the end of a gated road, well away from Virginia Road near Sun King Road. Firefighters from all departments took part in fighting the fire, with two fire engines, a tender and a ladder truck at the scene, and well out of sight from bystanders.

When firefighters first arrived on scene, “crews found light smoke coming from the building, with glass missing, consistent with an explosion type of call,” said Poirier.

Despite the large response, “it was not a big fire,” Poirier said, adding it was contained to one wall of the structure. He estimated it caused about $40,000 in damage.

The large response is standard for a structure fire, said Poirier.

The man injured in the incident has since been released from care, he said. The man, another tenant and three pets are being helped by Oceanside Emergency Support Services.

Though an investigation into what specifically caused the fire continued as of mid day Wednesday, July 19, Poirier said the glass shards blown out from the building are a good indicator of an explosion.

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