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Early morning Courtenay dumpster fire latest in series of suspicious blazes

The latest fire took place on Simms Street
The loading bay area of the Comox Valley Art Gallery in Courtenay was the scene of a garbage fire early March 25. Photo by Erin Haluschak

An early morning garbage fire next to the Comox Valley Art Gallery early Thursday (March 25) morning was the most recent in a series of fires in dumpsters or trashcans since the beginning of the year.

Courtenay Fire Chief Don Bardonnex said the latest fire took place on Simms Street - an alley between 5th and 6th streets - in a garbage can that was pressed up against a large garage door on the north side of the gallery.

“It spread to the building and burnt the door, and there is some light smoke damage inside.”

The CVAG building once housed the Courtenay Fire Hall, which was closed in 2000 and renovated in 2005 to make way for the gallery.

This is the 16th fire of its kind since the start of 2021, and Bardonnex noted most of the fires have taken place either late at night or early in the morning.

Glen Sanford, executive director of CVAG was on site early Thursday morning inspecting the damage and noted staff is ventilating the gallery with fans. He said it is fortunate the fire didn’t spread nor did it affect a giant wall mural adjacent to where the garbage cans were located.

Bardonnex noted anyone with information about the fires should contact the Comox Valley RCMP at 250-338-1321.

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Erin Haluschak

About the Author: Erin Haluschak

Erin Haluschak is a journalist with the Comox Valley Record since 2008. She is also the editor of Trio Magazine...
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