No one was injured in a devastating fire early Monday, according to officials, but the blaze completely destroyed a Walker’s Hook Road home as Salt Spring Island remains under “extreme” fire danger.
Firefighters responded to a 4 a.m. call on Aug. 14, arriving to a “fully involved” structure fire that over the next five hours would require 18 crew, eight apparatus and more than 16,000 gallons of water shuttled into the scene with tender trucks to extinguish, according to Salt Spring Island Fire Rescue (SSIFR) Assistant Chief Mitchell Sherrin, who said the cause of the fire was still under investigation.
“We want to express concern for the homeowners on this difficult day,” said Sherrin. “It’s a tough thing, and unfortunately the building was a total loss.”
Sherrin said crews laboured through the “surprisingly warm” early morning hours to fully extinguish the fire, which collapsed the roof and sent smoke and flames into the air above the 100 block of Walker’s Hook Road. Firefighters were able keep fire from spreading beyond that property, Sherrin said, but the family’s home was fully engulfed by the time trucks arrived.
“There was very little we could do to save it,” said Sherrin. “Fortunately no one was injured, neither occupants nor any firefighters.”
Walker’s Hook Road was closed while firefighters were on scene; Sherrin apologized to and thanked morning commuters for their understanding.
An online fundraiser has been established for the family, identified on social media as Jesse and Amber Blue, at www.gofundme.com/f/please-help-rebuild-them-their-home.
The East Vancouver Island Basin, which includes the Gulf Islands, has been at Drought Level 5 since the end of July; fire danger on Salt Spring remains extreme as heat warnings were issued this week for southwestern B.C.