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

Greater Victoria youth earn Scouts’ highest honour

21 youth receive Chief Scout’s Award from lieutenant governor

Intruder breaks into Langford couple’s home

The intruder was high and thought the house was his

King and Jackson make powerful duo in Shamrocks win

‘Rocks Nation was out in full force, standing room only

Contemporary clay works for sale in Metchosin

The event is on until tomorrow at 5 p.m.

Town of View Royal wants to regulate Helmcken Park and Ride

The Town had to put up residential only parking because of overflow

Trans Mountain pipeline: How we got here

A look at the Kinder Morgan expansion, decades in the making

Passersby help rescue occupants of home as fire breaks out in Courtenay

Coffee run turns into fire rescue for pair of men

New social club started at Cedar Hill Rec Centre

Cedar Hill Social Club for adults 55-plus feautes numerous activities

Giant beer tanks arrive in new B.C. home city

Molson Coors tanks finish river journey and move to overland trip in Chilliwack

VIDEO: Pipeline supporters rally across B.C.

Five simultaneous events organized by month-old Suits and Boots lobby group

VIDEO: B.C. woman praises burn fund after boat explosion in 1978

White Rock woman was 16 years old when she was left with second- and third-degree burns

B.C.’s Ryan Craig, Vegas Golden Knights chase history

Local product behind bench for expansion team’s incredible championship run

CP rail workers give strike notice

Employees could walk out as early as Tuesday at 7 p.m. PT

Council scraps other ideas; JSB steel will only be used for art

City staff wanted an open bid to get rid of steel that’s coated in toxic lead paint

Most Read