Sidney firefighters responded to a house fire on James White Boulevard Tuesday afternoon. It was contained to an outbuilding and extinguished quickly. (Steven Heywood/News Staff)

UPDATE: Sidney firefighters back off blaze as ammunition explodes

No one injured in fire contained to outbuilding

No one was injured after a fire broke out at a home on James White Boulevard in Sidney Tuesday afternoon — but with ammunition exploding in the heat, the situation could’ve been much worse.

Sidney Fire Chief Brett Mikkelsen says firefighters responded quickly and found that the fire was within an outbuilding and they knocked it down fast. Crews, he added later, heard popping in the building and at first believed it might have been aerosol cans or other items commonly found in sheds or garages, bursting in the heat.

However, after a “rapid succession of pops,” Mikkelsen said firefighters backed out of the structure, realizing it was something else — ammunition for firearms stored in the building. He said they met with RCMP officers at the scene and made a risk assessment, ending up dousing the structure with their water cannon to get the heat down and stop the ammunition from exploding.

Mikkelsen said the man who lives there was out front when the fire broke out and told firefighters that his wife was still in the house and she was rescued. The fire chief added the firearms and ammunition in the structure at the time weren’t likely on the man’s mind.

“I don’t think the resident wanted to put us at risk,” Mikkelsen added.

To keep the firefighters safe, they were kept out of the structure until the water cannon did its job. Mikkelsen said had they known there was ammunition in the building, they would have approached the fire differently. Having said that, he added they did what they could to stay safe and still control the blaze.

“There was more risk than we would have liked.”

RELATED: Peninsula firefighters to arrive faster with new agreement.

Mikkelsen sad he was pleased with his department’s response time, as well as that of the North Saanich and Central Saanich fire departments, which also sent trucks and crews to the scene. All three Saanich Peninsula municipalities now respond to structure fires in each other’s jurisdictions under a recently-updated mutual aid agreement. Mikkelsen said it works well, and had there been another incident in Sidney at the same time, there would have been enough resources on hand to respond.

An investigation into the cause of the fire has ended. Mikkelsen said Wednesday the damage caused by the fire makes any determination of the cause difficult. He added there’s nothing suspicious about the fire, saying investigators are unlikely to delve any further.

Just Posted

Development replacing Fairfield United Church gets final approval

The new Unity Commons Development will take over the space at 1303 Fairfield Rd.

Victoria police search for missing man, his vehicle and travel trailer

Last seen on March 17 driving white Honda Ridgeline bearing B.C. licence plate CG 4316

Victoria musician’s song featured on American Idol

Mike Edel’s song ‘The Finish Line’ was featured on the hit show

Saanich councillor questions why Victoria Mayor Helps would shut out public from amalgamation deliberations

Coun. Judy Brownoff says Saanich puts “high standard” on public engagement, openness and transparency.

Sidney business organization cyber attacked

President’s contact list sent unsolicited messages

VIDEO: Can you believe it? This B.C. hill pulls cars backwards up a slope

Sir Isaac Newton had clearly never been to this Vernon anomaly when he discovered gravity

Greater Victoria Wanted List for the week of March 19

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

POLL: When do you think the next major earthquake will hit Vancouver Island?

According to seismologists, Vancouver Island is overdue for a magnitude 7 earthquake.… Continue reading

B.C. launches immunization program at schools to stamp out measles resurgence

Vaccination records to be checked at B.C. schools next fall

Couple rescued after Sea to Sky Gondola refused ride down hill

‘We were cold as hell, my lips were blue. I cried the entire way down’

Having phone within sight while driving does not violate law: B.C. judge

The mere presence of a cell phone within sight of a driver is not enough for a conviction, judge says

B.C. man sentenced for tying up, assaulting and robbing another man at hotel

Gabriel Stephen Nelson robbed and assaulted travelling businessman in Nanaimo in 2017

B.C. girl and her toy monkey make videos to fight negativity on Facebook

Ava Ast created the Ava and Cello’s Good Deed Page last month

Deadline extended through April to nominate top B.C. educators

Second year of Premier John Horgan’s awards offers $3,000 bursary

Most Read