Nanoose Bay home destroyed

Account for donations for the family set up at RBC in Parksville

There were no serious injuries from a fire Wednesday night on Somerset Drive

There were no serious injuries from a fire Wednesday night on Somerset Drive

A Nanoose Bay family escaped, but the house didn’t survive a dramatic fire Wednesday evening on Somerset Drive.

Nanoose Volunteer Fire Department Chief Doug Penny said firefighters were called out just before 10:30 p.m. Wednesday and  20 Nanoose members attended, along with two trucks from Lantzville.

Penny said the lack of fire hydrants and strong winds made it impossible to stop the fire, which had fully engulfed the home by the time fire crews arrived.

“Every time we’d start to get control, we’d run out of water and it would kick back up again,” Penny said, explaining they had a bucket brigade of four tanker trucks running back and forth delivering water.

They dumped more than 90,000 litres on the fire, but nothing but a shell remains.

“It looks like it started in the workshop area,” Penny said, but didn’t have any guess at a specific cause due to the complete destruction.

“The resident thought he saw a bit of dust blowing off the house, he went to see and opened the big door and it was like a backdraft situation — it exploded in his face,” Penny said, but added the only injury was “a bit of smoke inhalation.”

The strong winds blew the smoke across Highway 19, leading emergency officials to close the highway briefly.

The Parksville branch of RBC has set up an account that will take donations for the family.