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

Trapped Vancouver Island crash survivor celebrates second chance at life

“Life is good now. It’s good to be alive.”

Oak Bay’s Spandads help give new life to used bikes

Local cycling club is donating 100 bikes worldwide to those in need

More affordable housing for Indigenous residents coming to Langford

40 units will be added to Station Avenue development

Reader Response: Victoria’s wages not meeting general needs

Victoria was recently ranked as one of the worst cities in B.C. to work in due to low average income

VIDEO: Ballet Victoria’s take on the The Nutcracker tours Vancouver Island and the Mainland

Performances in Revelstoke, Coquitlam, Chilliwack and Victoria

POLL: Are you dreaming of a white Christmas?

The rain Vancouver Island is famous for is coming down in buckets,… Continue reading

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Dec. 11, 2018

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

Sissons scores OT winner as Predators beat Canucks 4-3

VIDEO: Vancouver battles back to earn single point in Nashville

High streamflow advisory in effect across the Island

River Forecast Centre issues advisory as Pacific storms batter the coast

Lions announce seven members of coaching staff not coming back for 2019

The operational moves come two days after the Lions announced DeVone Claybrooks as the team’s new head coach

Man in his 60s dies in ATV accident north of Parksville

BC Coroners Service investigating the death

VIDEO: Kitten rescued from under school bus in Duncan

School staff have affectionately called kitten “Axle”

$12K awarded to atheist family who oppose Christmas, Hanukkah in B.C. classroom

Gary Mangel,May Yasue said holidays, Remembrance Day and Valentine’s Day not appropriate in preschool

Most Read