A 40-year-old Errington man was pulled from his burning house and taken to hospital after a three-and-a-half-hour standoff with police Friday afternoon.
Oceanside RCMP were called to Pinewood Trailer Park, at 2130 Errington Road, at 9:35 a.m. Friday with reports of a “very distraught” man alone in his home, RCMP Cpl. Jesse Foreman reported. After assessing the situation, police evacuated nearby homes in the trailer park for precautionary reasons.
Neighbours in the park, many of whom stood and took photos as an RCMP Emergency Response Team (ERT) arrived to assist, said the man had threatened to explode one or more propane tanks.
A police negotiator attempted to talk the man out of the trailer, invoking the names of his children to convince him to exit the house.
“I want you to come out so you can talk to your kids and hold them in your arms,” the officer said. “Your kids don’t want to see their daddy go this way. They want to see their daddy again.”
Just after noon, light smoke could be seen rising above the trailer, and the first of two trucks from the Errington Volunteer Fire Department arrived at 12:15 p.m. as police moved spectators farther from the man’s trailer, “because there’s a risk of explosion.”
“During negotiations attempts, the man set fire to his home, escalating the situation further,” Foreman reported in a written release.
Just before 1 p.m., ERT members moved up the driveway with weapons, a riot shield and a charged fire hose provided by firefighters. Within a couple of minutes, the ERT team emerged from the front of the home, carrying the man by his legs and arms as thick, heavy smoke began billowing skyward.
As B.C. Ambulance Service personnel and ERT members attended to the man on the grass near the street, fire department volunteers, who had stayed back during the extraction, rushed past to attack the fire.
The man was taken from the scene by RCMP in an ambulance with what police described as minor injuries. No other people were in the trailer at the time, and no other injuries reported.