On Saturday afternoon, July 30, Comox Fire Rescue received a call for black smoke and fire at a commercial building in the 700 block on Anderton Road in Comox.
As the department had 10 firefighters at the station participating in some training, their response was rapid with 12 firefighters on scene within eight minutes.
This quick response combined with a solid knowledge of building construction and the use of thermal imaging cameras allowed the department to extinguish this fire fairly quickly, despite the fact that fire had penetrated the rear wall and roof of this building.
It is believed the fire was started by a discarded cigarette into bark mulch, which was up against the building.
The bark mulch caught on fire and then the fire traveled up, inside the wall to the roof. Damage was limited to the rear wall, rear roof area and one retail door which was forced open. In total, the department had 25 firefighters and three fire engines on scene.
Comox Fire Chief Gord Schreiner recommends not placing bark mulch against a building or any other combustible items.
The department responds to several bark mulch fires each year.