Home on North Road total loss in April 6 fire

Sounder News

Wednesday, April 15 2020

The Gabriola Volunteer Fire Department was called out late on Monday, April 6 for a structure fire on North Road near Cresta Roca.

Gabriola Fire Chief Will Sprogis said the mobile home was fully involved when firefighters arrived on scene. 

Gabriola RCMP members, as well as an ambulance from BC Emergency Health Services were called in to assist, joined later by Gabriola Emergency Social Services.

The single occupant of the home had gotten out safely with no injuries. He was transported by RCMP to a friend’s home for the evening, and will be assisted by ESS.

The home was a total loss, with all of the occupant’s belongings inside when it burned down.

Ahead of the April 6 fire, the GVFD had broken firefighters into platoons as a response to the COVID-19 situation - to keep the risk of the entire fire department from being exposed to COVID-19.

Platoon 3 was on shift on Monday night. Fire Chief Will Sprogis said thirteen firefighters were on scene for the fire, with the other platoons on standby in their homes in the event more firefighters were required.

Sprogis said, “we stuck to protocols. With the nature of the call versus the risk - we kept the other two platoons back at their homes.”

Sprogis said when fire crews arrived at the home, “it was fully involved, total loss. We even had members respond Code 2 [regular speed, no lights or sirens] at that point, there was no point putting anyone at risk for a lost structure.

“Most of the firefighting was to eliminate smoke and keep air quality good for the neighbours...and protecting exposures.”

Crews were back on scene on Tuesday as flare ups from the fire continued.

While nothing had been finalized at press time, there were efforts being made to put together a way for islanders to contribute towards funds to help the owner of the home.