Early-morning blaze destroys Vancouver Island building, home

Fire, ambulance and other emergency personnel were on hand dealing with an early-morning fire in Coombs on Jan. 3, 2021. (Peter McCully photo)Fire, ambulance and other emergency personnel were on hand dealing with an early-morning fire in Coombs on Jan. 3, 2021. (Peter McCully photo)
Fire crews use high ladder to help douse the flames on a building that caught fire in Coombs early on Jan. 3, 2021. (Peter McCully photo)Fire crews use high ladder to help douse the flames on a building that caught fire in Coombs early on Jan. 3, 2021. (Peter McCully photo)
The facade of a Coombs building that caught fire early Jan. 3, 2021. The damage was extensive. (Michael Briones photo)The facade of a Coombs building that caught fire early Jan. 3, 2021. The damage was extensive. (Michael Briones photo)
The aftermath of a fire in Coombs early Jan. 3, 2021. (Michael Briones photo)The aftermath of a fire in Coombs early Jan. 3, 2021. (Michael Briones photo)
Fire, ambulance and other emergency personnel were on hand dealing with an early-morning fire in Coombs on Jan. 3, 2021. (Peter McCully photo)Fire, ambulance and other emergency personnel were on hand dealing with an early-morning fire in Coombs on Jan. 3, 2021. (Peter McCully photo)

No injuries were reported after a massive early-morning blaze lit up the dark sky Sunday (Jan. 3) in Coombs.

Coombs Hilliers Volunteer Fire Department attended the blaze, arriving on-scene at approximately 2 a.m. Other detachments from Deep Bay to Lantzville also responded to the scene. One firefighter on-scene said flames climbed to almost 100 feet in the air at one point.

Incident commander Capt. Brad Cornish said there was fire coming out on the side of the structure when they arrived.

The building, formerly the Sanctuary of the Rastafarian Order church, is located between Station Road and Ford Road along Alberni Highway. There was nobody inside the building.

A residential home behind the property also caught fire. Two residents were able to leave the house safely.

“It was a heavy fire load and it went up fast,” Cornish said.

READ MORE: Parksville hotel evacuated after third-floor fire

The high flames created a challenging situation for the firefighters.

“We got no hydrants out here so the big thing was water supply, keeping water flowing,” said Cornish. “I needed to call other neighbouring departments from Lantzville to Bow Horn Bay to assist us with water, shuttling manpower and other stuff.”

There was a danger of the fire spreading to other buildings nearby but Cornish said that they were able to place some crews between the buildings to monitor exposures.

“The crews did an awesome job from keeping it from spreading,” said Cornish.

The building and home suffered extensive damages and are likely to be written off, said Cornish.

Fire crews were still at the scene near noon, dealing with hot spots and any smouldering debris. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

Michael.Briones@pqbnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter 

CoombsParksvillequalicum beach

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

Just Posted

A pinniped was attacked by an unseen predator off the shores of Dallas Road Monday night. (Courtesy of Steffani Cameron)
VIDEO: Seal attacked by unseen predator in waters off Dallas Road

Victoria woman captures harrowing footage of what appears to be a seal’s final moments

Local MP Elizabeth May says the federal government needs to revise its rules around allowing freighters to anchor in and around the Gulf Islands. (Black Press Media File)
MP Elizabeth May promises to press new transportation minister on issues important to Vancouver Island

Key issues include anchoring freightes, southern resident killer whales and fate of local bus line

Firefighters respond to a fire on Heatherly Road in Colwood Jan. 19. (Photo courtesy of View Royal Fire Rescue)
Two people escape injury in Colwood house fire

Heatherly Road fire started on a covered porch

December and January, so far, have seen their share of rain. (Black Press Media file photo)
Potential for snow in Greater Victoria after unusually wet December, January

Winter is on the way, says Environment and Climate Change Canada

West Shore RCMP are looking for a suspect and their mini van, which crashed into a parked vehicle and home along the 200-block of Island Highway in View Royal on Jan. 18. (Black Press Media file photo)
Driver crashes into parked car and home in View Royal, speeds away: RCMP

Incident took place near 200-block of Island Highway Monday night

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry prepares a daily update on the coronavirus pandemic, April 21, 2020. (B.C. Government)
B.C. adjusts COVID-19 vaccine rollout for delivery slowdown

Daily cases decline over weekend, 31 more deaths

JaHyung Lee, “Canada’s oldest senior” at 110 years old, received his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine on Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. He lives at Amenida Seniors Community in Newton. (Submitted photo: Amenida Seniors Community)
COVID rapid tests in long-term care key during vaccine rollout: B.C. care providers

‘Getting kits into the hands of care providers should be a top priority,’ says former Health Minister

Island Health chief medical officer Dr. Richard Stanwick receives a first dose of Pfizer vaccine, Dec. 22, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C. turns to second doses of COVID-19 vaccine as supplies slow

Pfizer shipments down until February, to be made up in March

B.C.’s Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Training announced funding to train community mental health workers at four B.C. post-secondary institutions. (Stock photo)
B.C. funding training of mental health workers at four post-secondary institutions

Provincial government says pandemic has intensified need for mental health supports

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
No Pfizer vaccines arriving in Canada next week; feds still expect 4M doses by end of March

More cases of U.K. variant, South African variant found in Canada

Health-care workers wait in line at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Canadians who have had COVID-19 should still get the vaccine, experts say

Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines were found to have a 95 per cent efficacy

An empty Peel and Sainte-Catherine street is shown in Montreal, Saturday, Jan. 9, 2021, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
Poll finds strong support for COVID-19 curfews despite doubts about effectiveness

The poll suggests 59 per cent remain somewhat or very afraid of contracting COVID-19

Egg producers in B.C. aren’t obligated to reveal their production sites. (Sarah Simpson/Citizen)
Officials say there’s not enough Vancouver Island eggs to meet demand

BC Egg Marketing Board doesn’t regulate labelling, supply needed from off-Island

Most Read