Cowichan News Leader

Owners injured trying to extinguish spectacular shop fire near Cowichan Bay

Fire chief Ken Bulcock takes command of the scene as Cowichan Bay Fire Rescue crews respond to a structure fire at 1291 Fisher Road at approximately 5:15 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 26. - Andrew Leong
Fire chief Ken Bulcock takes command of the scene as Cowichan Bay Fire Rescue crews respond to a structure fire at 1291 Fisher Road at approximately 5:15 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 26.
— image credit: Andrew Leong

A big outbuilding shop was destroyed, while its owners received minor burns, during Monday night's dramatic fire at 1291 Fisher Road, Cowichan Bay's fire chief says.

"It's a total loss. It was a detached woodworking shop and on arrival it was fully engulfed," Ken Bulcock said of the residence's shop holding tools, plus acetylene and propane tanks.

Those fuels worried Bulcock and his 21 firefighters who arrived at around 5:15 p.m. to battle the blaze seen from the Island Highway.

"The flames were like 50 or 60 feet in the air," he said. "It was just a ball of fire.

"We were worried about  explosions, but the owner turned off the propane and removed acetylene bottles from the main part of the shop," the chief said.

Bulcock declined to name the owner, who first fought the inferno with a fire extinguisher.

"The owner arrived home to see smoke and flames inside the structure.

"He dumped a fire extinguisher inside, but that was unsuccessful. With the wooden building consisting of fir, it just took off."

But the owner didn't.

"He and his mother received minor burns from attempt to extinguish the blaze.

"They were both holding garden hoses when we got there within minutes," Bulcock explained.

The single-storey, wooden building, measuring about 1,100 square feet, was not insured.

Bulcock figured the loss is worth about $10,000. The fire's cause is still being investigated.

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