Two dogs were rescued and no one was injured when a house fire broke out on the 3000-block of Larkdowne Road on Jan. 15.
The dogs were the only ones home at the time, and both animals along with some tenants have been displaced in the aftermath.
“There was significant smoke damage throughout the upper story level,” said Darren Hughes, Asst. Chief of the Oak Bay Fire Department. “The fire heat damage wasn’t that significant, but we always estimate high because when we get that smoke damage in particular—furniture, clothing—many of those things can’t be adequately cleaned to get the odour out. Then of course everything has to be cleaned and repainted.”
Oak Bay Fire Department estimates the damage between $50,000 and $100,000. Still, they credit early detection of the blaze for enabling crews from Oak Bay, Saanich and Victoria to put the fire out quickly.
A passerby noticed the fire at around 5:30 p.m. and crews arrived about seven minutes later. Crews then entered the building and conducted an aggressive attack accompanied by a search and rescue team.
The tenants will be displaced until a restoration company deems the inside area safe. Hughes said there are always concerns about air quality after a fire, however, because crews were able to put out the fire without taking down any walls, he doesn’t believe that asbestos will be an issue.
Still, he said it could be weeks rather than days before the house is reoccupied.
In situations where residents might be displaced due to fire, Hughes said that localized resources are available.
“We always make sure that they have a place to stay, and we have resources and people in place to make that happen,” Hughes said.
A first responder was treated for minor smoke inhalation, but otherwise they were no reported injuries.
The cause of the fire is under investigation.