Gary Bradshaw, treasurer with the Saanich Historical Artificats Society, stands in the part of the Tillicum Building damaged during a Wednesday fire at Heritage Acres. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)

Gary Bradshaw, treasurer with the Saanich Historical Artificats Society, stands in the part of the Tillicum Building damaged during a Wednesday fire at Heritage Acres. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)

VIDEO: Blaze at Heritage Acres results in nearly $20,000 in damages, no exhibits impacted

Central Saanich, Sidney firefighters tackle late morning, early afternoon fire caused by woodstove

Saanich Peninsula firefighters and museum volunteers helped save priceless artifacts detailing the history of the Saanich Peninsula and beyond during a fire Wednesday.

While flames caused extensive damage to portions of a building more than a century old, the combined efforts of firefighters from Central Saanich, Sidney and volunteers with the Saanich Historical Artificats Society prevented worse, said Chris Vrabel, fire chief with the Central Saanich Fire Department.

“So we are pleased to say that none of the artifcats were damaged in this; may be slight smoke damage but no damage to the artificats or the majority of the building,” he said.

Gary Bradshaw, treasurer with the society, said the quick response made a difference in preventing the fire from spreading into the main part of the building, where the society was storing several antique vehicles.

Vrabel said Central Saanich crews received a report of a structure fire just after 11 a.m.

About a dozen firefighters responded to the scene within 12 minutes. Crews from the Sidney Volunteer Fire Department were also called to assist.

When crews arrived, flames were coming out of the building’s roof, and firefighters fought the blaze from the building’s interior and exterior.

“It appears that the source of the fire was from the chimney of a woodstove. Just over a period of time, the wood had degraded to the point … where it eventually combusted.”

READ ALSO: Driver on take-out food run caught going 67 km/h over limit in front of Saanich police headquarters

“They (woodstoves) require permits from the local fire department. They require to be installed by certified technicians and inspected annually. And the insurance companies are quite diligent about making sure that these appliances are up-to-date and installed in good working conditions.

Vrabel said current estimates peg the damage at $20,000.

Bradshaw said the person who escaped the fire unharmed had been using the stove inside. “It has probably been in there for 20 to 30 years,” said Bradshaw.

The damaged building, constructed in 1912, had had several functions in the past. Before coming to Heritage Acres, it stood at the corner of Burnside Road and Tillicum Road, used by the District of Saanich. In the past, the provincial government had used it to maintain the now-closed road that connected Greater Victoria to places north before the construction of the current Malahat Highway.

Heritage Acres has been closed since last year because of the COVID-19 pandemic and Bradshaw anticipates that the facility will remain closed until September at the earliest.


Do you have a story tip? Email: vnc.editorial@blackpress.ca.

Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, and like us on Facebook.

wolfgang.depner@peninsulanewsreview.com

fire

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Traffic heading south on Highway 17 and looking to turn left onto Beacon Avenue wait for the light to turn Tuesday morning. A report finds the intersection is experiencing “failing levels of service” for certain movements during the morning peak hours as well as the afternoon peak hours. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
Major Sidney intersection already deficient predicted to get worse

New report also finds area’s pedestrian and cycling infrastructure in need of improvement

An employee at Sidney’s Thrifty Foods tested positive for COVID-19, the parent company Sobeys posted on its website Wednesday. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
COVID-19 case reported at Sidney grocery store

Thrifty Foods employee last worked at the store April 3

This property, at 1980 Fairfield Place, is adjoined to Gonzales Hill Park and is the centre of community opposition and a B.C. Supreme Court case as owners are looking to build a single-family home on the lot. Jake Romphf/News Staff
Home construction near Victoria’s Gonzales Hill Park spurs legal battle

Gonzales Hill Preservation Society worried about impacts to the park’s wildlife, rare fauna, views

The Latoria South section of the Royal Bay development in Colwood could include a new long-term care facility. (Black Press Media file photo)
Colwood’s Royal Bay could be home to new long-term care facilities

Capital Regional Hospital District board approves $8M land purchase for purpose

The artist rendered Sadie with a few more ribs and wrinkles than she had in real life, and with the fading of her paint she looks a little sad. But real-life Sadie was an energetic hunting dog, her owner Cliff Curtis said. (Zoe Ducklow/News Staff)
Dog sculpture at Glen Lake Park based off a happy hunting hound

Sadie the dog was not as old as the concrete art looks almost 20 years later

(Black Press Media file photo)
POLL: Do you have a plan in place in the event of a tsunami?

Tsunamis have claimed the lives of more than 250,000 people between 1998… Continue reading

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of April 13

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

A sea lion swims past the window of an empty viewing area Vancouver Aquarium is pictured Thursday, September 10, 2020. The Vancouver Aquarium has had to close its doors to the public due to the lack of visitors during the COVID-19 pandemic. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
U.S.-based theme park company buys Vancouver Aquarium

Aquarium had to shut its doors in September due to COVID pandemic

Legendary broadcaster Bernie Pascall is among in the Class of 2021 to be inducted into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame. (PQB News file photo)
Island broadcasting legend Bernie Pascall named to Canadian Football Hall of Fame

Pascall named by Football Reporters of Canada as inductee in the 2021 class in the media category

A man wears a protective face covering to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 as he walks past the emergency entrance of Vancouver General Hospital in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
COVID-19 spike in B.C. could overwhelm B.C. hospitals: modelling group

There are 397 people are in hospital due to the virus, surpassing a previous high of 374 seen in December

A deep cut on a humpback whale is shown in this recent handout photo in the Vancouver area. A conservation organization is warning boaters to be extra careful to prevent further harm to an injured humpback whale swimming in the Vancouver area. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Ocean Wise, Vanessa Prigollini *MANDATORY CREDIT*
Boaters urged to use caution around hurt humpback off Vancouver

Ocean Wise says watchers first noticed the wound 3 days ago and believe it was caused by a vessel strike

Ron Rauch and his wife Audrey are photographed at their home in Victoria, Friday, March 5, 2021. Their daughter Lisa Rauch died on Christmas Day 2019 when a tactical officer with the Victoria Police Department shot her in the back of the head with plastic bullets after barricading herself in a room that was on fire. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. families push for changes as special committee examines provincial Police Act

Solicitor General Mike Farnworth acknowledged the need to update the legislation last year

Major-General Dany Fortin, left, looks on as Minister of Public Services and Procurement Anita Anand provides an update on the COVID-19 pandemic, in Ottawa, Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2020. The Public Health Agency of Canada has set aside up to $5 billion to pay for COVID-19 vaccines. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada negotiating contracts to secure COVID-19 booster shots for next year: Anand

Most of Canada’s current vaccine suppliers are already testing new versions against variants

Most Read