Three homes were damaged by an early morning fire on Craigflower Road. (Kendra Crighton/News Staff)

UPDATED: Early morning fire sends four to hospital, destroys three homes on Songhees Nation

Neighbours heard screams, explosions before helping others flee the flames

Frantic screams woke Angela Elder up at around 5 a.m. Wednesday morning. Peering through her bedroom window, she could see flames shooting up from a mobile home across the road in the 1200-block of Craigflower Road.

Two people were able to escape from the home just before Elder heard explosions. After calling 911, she began knocking on doors and evacuating the homes adjacent to the flaming structure.

She said an elderly couple, living in one of the homes engulfed in flames, fled the fire with nothing on but what they wore to bed — “no shoes, no coat, no nothing.”

According to Environment Canada, temperatures in some areas of the West Shore reached as low as 1 C Wednesday morning. Esquimalt and Greater Victoria’s core saw temperatures around 5 C.

Martin Sundstorm, another neighbour living in the tight-knit community on the Songhees Nation, heard the screams while having his morning coffee and called 911 as well, before joining Elder, banging on doors to notify neighbours — worried they would have to evacuate the whole park.

Sundstorm wrapped a housecoat around one of the victims of the fire, while Elder found some shoes for another.

The group gathered across the road and watched three trailers become completely engulfed in flames. Other neighbours, watching from above, reported seeing flames shoot at least 100 feet into the air following an explosion.

When View Royal Fire Chief Paul Hurst arrived on scene the flames were too high to try and salvage the homes. Fire crews worked to save nearby homes, using ladders to fight the fire from above. Esquimalt and Colwood fire crews were also called to help fight the fire.

ALSO READ: Emergency crews respond to structure fire on Songhees Nation

Firefighters noted a few 100-pound propane tanks were venting – letting out propane due to a build-up of excessive pressure within the tank – which is what neighbours believe caused the sounds they heard.

Surrounding hydro lines began to catch fire, that’s when Elder said the scene got really scary.

BC Hydro shut off power in the area to ensure firefighter safety.

According to Hurst, four people were transported to Victoria General Hospital with different injuries. Elder hopes they’ll be able to stay there for the night, as the victim’s families are spread across the country.

Emergency Support Services and a BC Transit bus were on scene to help displaced residents.

Hurst told Black Press Media there is no word on what caused the fire, but every fire is treated as suspicious until deemed otherwise. An investigation team will begin sifting through the rubble of the three destroyed homes, which Hurst believes could take a few days.

Two vehicles were also destroyed and two neighbouring homes received some fire damage.

The fire closed Craigflower Road between Admirals and Tillicum roads for much of the morning commute.

READ ALSO: Ask a Saanich firefighter: Escape plans, fireworks and more


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

 

Emergency crews responding to a structure fire on Craigflower Road. (Photos courtesy of View Royal Fire Rescue)

Emergency crews responding to a structure fire on Craigflower Road. (Photos courtesy of View Royal Fire Rescue)

Emergency crews responding to a structure fire on Craigflower Road. (Photos courtesy of View Royal Fire Rescue)

Just Posted

Colwood drive-thru window smashed after suspect receives burger without mustard

Wendy’s staff call police after man allegedly rips Plexiglas barrier off window

39 caught speeding through Cowichan school zones

On June 1, North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP conducted speed enforcement in several school zones

Racist incident shocks Tseshaht First Nation

Port Alberni RCMP looking for information

Young killer whale untangles itself from trap line off Nanaimo’s Rocky Point

DFO marine mammal rescue unit arrived as whale broke free from prawn trap line

Ninja groups could be setting children up for identity theft, online safety expert says

‘When I started seeing entry codes into secure buildings, I’m thinking oh my God, what are we doing?’

If Trudeau won’t stand up to Trump, how will regular people: Singh

Trudeau did not directly answer a question about Trump’s actions amid protests

Highway 4 reopens after police incident near Port Alberni

Highway between Port Alberni and the West Coast was briefly closed in both directions

As two B.C. offices see outbreaks, Dr. Henry warns tests don’t replace other measures

Physical distancing, PPE and sanitizing remain key to reduce COVID-19 spread

Murder charge upgraded in George Floyd case, 3 other cops charged

Floyd’s family and protesters have repeatedly called for criminal charges against all four officers

Province buys Paul’s Motor Inn to house Victoria’s homeless population

Inn is the second hotel the province has purchased to support vulnerable community

VIDEO: Campbell River stunt-riding youths’ ATVs impounded

Drivers not wearing helmets, operating off-road vehicles on publicly owned roads and a city park

Woman fights off attacker while jogging in Port Alberni

RCMP look for witnesses of daytime incident

Bear spotted walking on McKenzie Avenue sidewalk in Saanich

Urban sightings prompt warnings from Saanich Police Department

Playgrounds reopening throughout mid-Vancouver Island

Health guidelines in effect as Nanaimo, Cowichan join the Comox Valley in lifting restrictions

Most Read