Six occupants of a Sooke house that caught fire Wednesday afternoon escaped without injuries, Sooke fire officials said.
The fire broke out in the 2000 block of Church Road just before noon. Thick black smoke could be seen coming from the front of the structure when fire crews arrived.
“The occupants were alerted to the fire through smell and smoke detectors,” said deputy fire chief Matt Barney. “Within 30 minutes of the call, we had knocked down fire.”
The house contained two suites. The fire started outside the lower suite and crept into the building when the occupants opened the door to investigate a bang they heard outside.
The bang, heard throughout the neighbourhood, was an exploding five-pound propane bottle. Several propane bottles and aerosol cans lay nearby.
Barney said there was significant damage to the lower suite, and smoke and water damage to the upper suite.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation but is not considered suspicious.
Four fire departments responded to the call from Sooke, Metchosin, Otter Point and East Sooke.