The Qualicum Beach Fire Department was called to deal with a structure fire on Memorial Avenue on Aug. 30.
The call came at approximately 1 p.m. on Sunday, from the occupants of the mixed residential-commercial building.
“On arrival, the duty officer did find smoke on the third floor of the structure (the structure is three storeys at the rear and two on the Memorial side. The level access off of memorial is actually what we would call ‘Floor 2’). The duty officer called for some mutual-aid resources from Coombs, Dashwood and Parksville Fire Departments,” said Fire Chief Marc Norris. “When fire crews entered they found smoke and fire in a wall cavity on the third floor.”
Norris said the origin of the fire was located in the ceiling/floor cavity between the second and third floors. In terms of the origin, investigators are working to confirm the cause.
“This is an old building, with many renovations over the years. It has businesses on the main floor (hair salon and pizza place) and residences above, with storage in the basement. If this fire had gone undetected for much longer or had of occurred undetected during the night, the outcome may have been much worse,” said Norris. “I commend the occupants for calling 911 and reporting the problem immediately and the great work of our fire crews, with support from our neighbouring departments which led to the successful locating and extinguishment of the fire which was burning in concealed floor joist and wall spaces.”
The affected hair salon, Belle Femme Hair Salon, made a Facebook post saying the shop will remain closed for the time being.
“The damage was significant and will force us to shut our doors for the near future while we work on our quick solutions for reopening and relaunching,” read the post. “We remain positive and will be navigating this process as best we can. We appreciate the outpouring of support we have, and will continue to have in the face of this challenge.”
— NEWS Staff