Courtenay Fire Department personnel responded to a fire call at approximately 10 p.m. Thursday (Nov. 25), in the downtown area.
Upon arrival at the scene, on the site of the former hostel on 5th Street and Anderton Avenue, personnel found a bus, fully engulfed.
“We had 14 members on scene,” said Courtenay’s deputy fire chief, George Seigler. “Originally we thought it was an RV, but it turned out to be the bus that the hostel used to shuttle people around.”
It took firefighters approximately 20 minutes to knock down the fire. There were concerns regarding adjacent structures, but the squad contained the flames to the bus itself.
“The hostel was an exposure so that was one of our concerns,” said Seigler. “So we concentrated on making sure that wasn’t a factor. So we had an attack line on the exposure, and another one on the bus itself.”
The cause of the fire has yet to be determined. Seigler has labeled it as ‘suspicious.’
Seigler said there was no indication that anyone was using the bus as shelter.
“The door was boarded with plywood, and that was intact, so there’s no indication of people living in the bus,” he said.
There were no injuries to report.
It is the second suspicious fire on the property in recent history.
The Cona Hostel was destroyed by an arsonist in 2019.
The Record has reached out to the Comox Valley RCMP for more information.