Firefighters from Bow Horn Bay Volunteer Fire Department, Dashwood Volunteer Fire Department, Coombs-Hilliers Volunteer Fire Department and Qualicum Beach Fire Department responded to a three-structure fire along Spider Lake Road in Qualicum Beach on April 14, 2021. (Mandy Moraes photo)

Firefighters from Bow Horn Bay Volunteer Fire Department, Dashwood Volunteer Fire Department, Coombs-Hilliers Volunteer Fire Department and Qualicum Beach Fire Department responded to a three-structure fire along Spider Lake Road in Qualicum Beach on April 14, 2021. (Mandy Moraes photo)

Multiple ‘mini explosions’ reported as 4 departments battle blaze in rural area near Qualicum Beach

Three-structure fire breaks out on Spider Lake Road property

For the better part of an entire afternoon, four regional fire departments were kept busy in a rural area near Qualicum Beach.

At approximately noon on April 14, fire crews responded to a multiple-structure fire along Spider Lake Road.

Fire Chief Clayton Bucovic of the Bow Horn Bay Volunteer Fire Department confirmed that departments from Dashwood, Coombs-Hilliers and Qualicum Beach all attended to provide mutual aid and water delivery. Approximately 30 firefighters worked together in the joint effort.

Bucovic described the structures that caught fire as three greenhouse-style buildings with metal roofs, approximately 30 feet by 100 feet, each being fully plumbed with electricity and water.

“There’s not a lot left of two of the three structures,” he said, noting two of the buildings were completely engulfed by flames with roof cave-ins and wall collapses. The third structure was only 50 per cent involved.

READ MORE: No injuries reported as 5 departments respond to house fire near Parksville

At this time, the fire chief is unsure of the cause and exact starting point of the fire. He said they won’t know for certain until investigations are complete, but believes it may have started in one structure then quickly spread to the others.

“There were multiple mini-explosions that we believe were either propane bottles or gasoline containers from inside one, if not two, of the structures.”

Through the efforts made by all departments, they were able to stop the blaze from spreading to another nearby structure.

“We did a lot of exposure protection for nearby grass areas and areas of residences. A neighbouring resident structure that was very close by was not in danger with the efforts of the firefighters.”

Bucovic said it took nearly two hours to suppress the blaze, for a total of four hours on scene.

There were no injuries to residents or firefighters.

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