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

Sailings cancelled between Brentwood Bay and Mill Bay

Due to a mechanical issue with the MV Klitsa

Mount Douglas Secondary hit with sanctions over Rams football recruitment

Fine handed down over recruitment claim will hit school, not the coach or players

Council tags two more Oak Bay homes for bylaw infringement

Monterey homeowner covers front yard in gravel and stone

Federal Election 2019: What you need to know in the Victoria riding

Meet your candidates and more information on how to cast your ballot

Scheer, Trudeau, Singh haggle over potential minority government outcome

If you believe the polls, it appears the Liberals and Conservatives are neck-and-neck

POLL: Do you think the day of the federal election should be a statutory holiday?

Increasing voter turnout has long been a goal of officials across the… Continue reading

Kawhi Leonard, former Toronto Raptor, welcomed back to Vancouver at pre-season game

Fans go wild at pre-season game between L.A. Clippers and Dallas Mavericks at Rogers Arena

Greens and NDP go head to head on West Coast; Scheer takes fight to Bernier

Trudeau turns focus to key ridings outside Toronto after two days in Quebec

Canucks beat Stanley Cup champs 4-3 in a shootout

Leivo nets winner, Vancouver dumps St. Louis for fourth straight win

Campbell River homicide suspects arrested in Vancouver

Two men remain in custody, but have not been charged

‘The more you test, the more you find’: Beef recalls a sign of success, experts say

Despite appearances, experts say a recent rise in major recalls is not a sign of food supply problems

Scholars say religious vaccine objections can’t be traced to Biblical sources

Vaccinations are a requirement to attend class in Ontario and New Brunswick, while B.C. launched a demand this fall

ELECTION 2019: How would the major parties address Canada’s housing crisis?

Promises include speculation taxes, more affordable housing, and declaring housing a human right

Most Read