A trailer destroyed by fire last week sits on its concrete pad at Thetis Lake Campground and Trailer Park. The trailer park manager says the resident was in the process of being evicted.

UPDATE: Resident of burned trailer was facing eviction

Thetis Lake Trailer Park fire still under investigation

The unmistakable smell of smoke and burnt plastic lingers near the charred remains of a trailer at Thetis Lake Campground and Trailer Park.

The trailer went up in flames July 2, with nearly two dozen firefighters from the View Royal and Colwood fire departments battling the blaze. West Shore RCMP has deemed the incident “suspicious” and continues to investigate the fire, which forced the evacuation of 10 nearby mobile homes, although the fire did not spread to any surrounding structures.

Eric Gieringer, site manager for the facility, said efforts have been made to clean up the trailer park, which has seen six residents evicted since the fall, the last being the owner of the trailer involved in the fire.

“He’s a hoarder,” said Gieringer, adding that the man was “collecting more and more garbage and then we had to deal with him.” They started the eviction process in the spring and gave the man about two and a half months to leave.

The resident spent June removing some items from the trailer, and park operators believed he was preparing to move, Gieringer said. The man was seen there the day of the fire, but it was believed he had left before the fire started.

“An hour or so later the trailer blew up,” Gieringer said, adding that no one saw the man on scene when the fire started. “It’s an odd coincidence.”

View Royal Fire Chief Paul Hurst said crew members fighting the fire last week were concerned with the fact three or four mobile homes were situated within 10 to 15 feet of the blaze, and vented gas from propane tanks stored inside and around the trailer was causing the fire to spread.

The presence of the propane tanks also made for a difficult and dangerous situation for firefighters. Hurst, noting he was concerned for their safety, said it was “far too dangerous to enter the trailer without knocking down (the fire) from a distance.”

Gieringer acknowledged residents’ fears that night as well.

“People here were scared out of their minds,” he said, noting they were all amazed the propane tanks didn’t blow. “There’s no way that was an accident.”

West Shore RCMP spokesman Const. Alex Berube was unable to disclose details of the investigation, but said police were awaiting the fire investigation report.

“Our major crime unit is taking over that investigation,” he said. “We’ll see what the investigation will show and take appropriate actions.”

In the meantime, the trailer site is considered a crime scene. Gieringer admits it will be a long road ahead before the tape can come down, the site can be cleared and they can move on.


Just Posted

Local volunteers get the scoop on bat poop

Bat droppings key to research in a number of areas

Colwood development draws ire of residents

Developer says he’s listened and addressed residents’ concerns

What is it like to be part of the Canadian Armed Forces?

Try military rations, combat gear and simulated shooting range on Saturday

B.C. needs Disability Act: Victoria council

Council motion asks province to make B.C. barrier free

100,000 bulbs shine bright for Lights of Hope

St. Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver launched its annual campaign to raise funds for equipment, research

‘I will now live in consistent fear’: Allan Schoenborn granted escorted leaves

The Merritt man was deemed not criminally responsible in the killing of his three children in 2008

Hammy the deer dodges conservation officers in Prince Rupert

The famous Prince Rupert hammock deer maintains his purple threads

‘No shirt, no service, no Canada’

Shirtless Tacoma man arrested after Canadian border officials say they found meth in rental vehicle

West Shore craft fair roundup

Holiday-themed events taking place on the West Shore

Weekend hit list: Things to do in Greater Victoria

FRIDAY Find Mr. Nutcracker and his cousin Tommy Tempo as they visit… Continue reading

Uptown’s Christmas Tree Light Up is Saturday night

Uptown assembling 54-foot-tall tree for fifth annual Light Up

Nasty note on B.C. windshield sparks online outrage

Vernon’s Bailey McDonald is using a painful experience to start conversation about invisible illness

Grade 12 student already has 1,500 towards carpentry apprenticeship

B.C. program launches trade careers from high school

Most Read