Saanich South MLA’s office struck by fire

Saanich South MLA Lana Popham was at a conference just outside Kamloops Saturday night when she received a call at 11:30 p.m. from her 12-year-old son Kye.

Saanich South MLA Lana Popham was at a conference just outside Kamloops Saturday night when she received a call at 11:30 p.m. from her 12-year-old son Kye.

Popham’s husband, an Oak Bay firefighter, heard the Saanich fire department over the emergency radio responding to fire at 4085 Quadra St. He called home to get his son to relay the news.

“Kye phoned me up in Barriere and said ‘Mom, your office is on fire,’” Popham said. “So there was nothing I could do about it. I thought he was joking.”

Twelve firefighters and officers responded in two fire engines, one ladder truck, one rescue and one command vehicle.

Popham stayed in touch with the Saanich fire department that evening. By 12:30 a.m., firefighters managed to extinguish the fire, which was contained to the roof of the two-unit building.

“They saved the office,” Popham said. “Fifteen more minutes and the office would have been gone.”

The following day, the building’s landlords Neil and Michelle Salmond sopped up the water in what is an almost entirely paperless office.

Popham’s greatest concern was for local art she has on display but fortunately it wasn’t affected. The office will reopen Thursday morning.

While none of the building’s contents were destroyed, there was damage to the hardwood floors and the roof. The cause of the fire has not been determined.


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