Saanich townhouse fire under investigation

One person taken to hospital from blaze which is estimated to have caused $300,000 in damage

A unit in a McKenzie Avenue townhouse complex caught fire Sunday around 4:30 p.m.

Investigators are trying to determine the cause of a townhouse fire in Gordon Head that did an estimated $300,000 in damage Sunday afternoon.

Around 4:30 p.m., the Saanich Fire Department responded to a call in the 1700 block of McKenzie Avenue at a townhouse down the street from Tuscany Village. A press release from the department noted the fire occurred in the centre unit of one of the buildings, with firefighters finding the seat of the fire in the basement.

“The smoke was very black, coming out of the unit – very thick and oily,” said Earl Jones, president of the strata council for the complex. “It was quite frightening, actually.

“There was smoke that did get to other units, but the fire was contained to the one unit. We have very nice firewalls in between the units.”

Jones said everyone in the complex was evacuated as the firefighters quickly got the blaze under control. One occupant was taken to hospital for smoke inhalation, he said.

Jones said the fire forced all occupants of the building to find different accommodations for Sunday night, and he wasn’t sure when they would be allowed to return.

“No one was in the four units here because the power was shut off, and because of the smoke, the air wasn’t breathable, so everyone had to find temporary accommodations,” he said. “There’s a lot of work to do right now. They’re trying to restore the electricity to the three good units. We’re just waiting to hear what they say and we’ll go from there.”

All told, three engines, one ladder and one rescue vehicle responded to the fire, with assistance from Saanich Police, B.C. Ambulance and B.C. Hydro.



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