Comox Fire Rescue firefighters attend an apartment fire at Mariner Apartments early Friday morning, Dec. 20, 2019. Photo by CTV News Vancouver island

Heavy smoke forces evacuation of Comox apartment building

Mariner Apartment tenants evacuated after smoke fills second and third-floor hallways

It’s been a year to forget for Mariner Apartment tenants.

In January, the apartment building was evacuated long-term, due to a flood caused by a burst water main.

ALSO: Tenants displaced after flood

Friday morning, tenants were awakened by the sound of a fire alarm, after a kitchen fire in a second-floor unit filled much of the building with smoke.

“The call came in at around 5:30,” said Comox Fire Rescue assistant chief, Rick Shelton. “We arrived on scene and there was a significant amount of smoke, especially on the second floor… filled all the hallways on the second floor and a fair amount of smoke on the third floor as well.”

The source of the smoke was an improperly discarded ashtray.

“Someone ended up putting their cigarette butts into a trash can underneath the sink before they went to bed, and it smouldered and smouldered,” said Shelton. “Very luckily, it didn’t catch fire – just a lot of heavy smoke coming out. So we got up there, discarded that, aired out the building and that was her.”

The building was fully evacuated upon the sounding of the alarm. Tenants were allowed to return to their units once the firefighters completed their task.

“There will definitely be a lot of smoke damage in the room of origin – not a lot of heat damage, but a lot of smoke damage,” said Shelton. “There were a lot of cigarette butts that were smouldering so everything smelled of cigarette butts.”

Shelton said there were no injuries.

“The person in the unit woke up from the smoke, and he left the room. He was OK; he pulled the fire alarm and everyone else got out OK.”



terry.farrell@blackpress.ca

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