Langford Fire Rescue spent the weekend dealing with a number of preventable fires and is urging residents to think twice about where they discard their cigarette butts.
Langford crews responded to a structure fire at a home in the 900-block of Lequesne Ave. at around 4:30 p.m. on Canada Day. The fire started outside the home before spreading to the attic space, causing significant damage to an exterior deck and the roof structure. The damage is estimated at $200,000.
Both of the home’s occupants and their dog escaped the fire unharmed and Langford’s emergency social services team was able to find them a hotel room.
The cause is still under investigation but it is believed to have been started by a discarded cigarette butt.
Capt. Paul Obersteller noted the department also responded to three bark mulch fires and one fence fire, all believed to be caused by discarded cigarettes.
The department is urging residents to stop using flower planters and bark mulch as ash trays. Even if the pot or bed is watered that morning, with the recent heat, most are dry by the afternoon.
“People are in that habit and they don’t think,” Obersteller said. “They think it’s out.” But those cigarettes are left smoldering and many ignite.
“Big fires start small,” Obersteller added. “Even a single cigarette butt can cause a significant fire.”
Langford crews were also called to Centennial Park on Carlow Road after kids were lighting off fireworks on the ball field. The fireworks’ packaging caught fire.
View Royal Fire Rescue was also called to the Lequesne Avenue house fire, sending five members to assist the 15 Langford firefighters already on scene.
“We’re grateful for that help,” Obersteller added.
Other than that fire, View Royal crews spent the weekend dealing with a number of routine calls. However, they did see a small spike in calls relating to bicycle crashes. In all four crashes the cyclist was found to be at fault, noted View Royal Fire Chief Paul Hurst, and only minor injuries were reported. Of those calls, two were a result of hitting speed bumps on the road, one rear ended a trailer and the other hit a pedestrian on the Galloping Goose Trail.
Colwood Fire Rescue had a relatively quiet weekend with routine calls.