Buildings under construction in a Sooke neighbourhood have been destroyed in a large fire that could be seen across the region.
Crews from Sooke Fire Rescue, East Sooke, Metchosin and Otter Point fire departments were dispatched to a construction site on Steeple Chase at approximately 8:55 p.m. on May 2.
Four structures were fully engulfed when crews arrived, with approximately 30 firefighters and 10 apparatuses responding, including utility and medical vehicles. Sooke RCMP, BC Ambulance and Fortis BC were also on the scene.
The fire was controlled by 9:50 p.m., and crews remained at the site to manage hot spots and spot fires during the remainder of the night and the following day. The cause of the fire is under investigation.
“Public safety and minimizing damage to the nearby occupied residences was our priority,” said Sooke Fire Rescue Chief Ted Ruiter. “Thank you to our dedicated team and mutual aid partners for their quick response, and to the community for their support and co-operation.”
The community rallied through neighbours supporting each other to ensure everyone’s safety. People in occupied residences nearby were evacuated temporarily.
”Thank you doesn’t seem to suffice,” said Sooke Mayor Maja Tait. “My heartfelt gratitude to Sooke Fire and our mutual aid partners, Sooke RCMP and BC Ambulance and your families. The quick action of our emergency response teams prevented something that could have been a truly catastrophic event.”
— Valk ₿ (@wj_valk) May 3, 2023
Videos posted to social media showed the massive fire burning close to homes in the neighbourhood. Posts on social media by those who live nearby suggested a few homes sustained damage from the heat.
Those experiencing property damage should contact their insurance providers.