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Two sent to hospital after basement fire in Sidney

Neighbour, Peninsula Co-op employee help slow the fire from spreading
Sidney Volunteer Fire Department responded to Ardwell Avenue Sunday afternoon for a basement fire that sent the two occupants to hospital for precautionary reasons. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)

A basement suite fire Sunday afternoon in Sidney sent two people to hospital for precautionary treatment for smoke inhalation and caused significant damage.

Sidney Volunteer Fire Department Chief Brett Mikkelsen said the two individuals have since left the hospital and are receiving support through Peninsula Emergency Organization Measures Emergency Support Services, which is also assisting individuals living in the upstairs portion of the residence located on Ardwell Avenue, near the Peninsula Co-op location on McDonald Park Road.

Mikkelsen said local crews received support from North Saanich and Central Saanich firefighters. Crews also received assistance from a neighbour and an employee. Peter Blacker, who lives near the home, said he used his hose to douse the fire prior to the arrival of crews. A Peninsula Co-op employee also assisted by coming over with a fire extinguisher.

Mikkelsen said that action definitely slowed the progress of the fire. “It allowed us to get in there and then we hit it pretty hard from inside and extinguished the fire and managed to keep it isolated to that basement suite.”

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The fire remains under investigation with available evidence pointing to an electrical cause. “The real big take-away is that all the occupants were alerted to the presence of a pretty serious fire by smoke alarms,” he said. “When I arrived, everybody was out. Obviously, that is our primary concern. That makes it a lot easier for us. We are now only dealing with a building.”

The aftermath of the fire left the upstairs portion of the residence uninhabitable for the time being as the fire has compromised the building’s entire electrical system. As for the basement suite, Mikkelsen offered a rough estimate of $200,000 in total damages with the caveat that a full picture won’t emerge until contractors have examined the damage in detail.

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