The fire chief in Fanny Bay figures the attending members of his team probably prevented a destructive blaze early Monday after responding quickly to a dispatch call.
The volunteer department in the community south of Courtenay received the call around 12:30 a.m. Eight minutes later, chief Peter Golden and five others had suited up and departed for 430 Berray Rd. A caretaker was at the building, the basement of which was full of smoke.
Golden said there was no sign of flames but the team could smell something burning in the basement. They searched the premises for about an hour, running in a hose in case the basement burst into flames.
Although the smoke eventually dissipated, the smell remained during their search. Through a process of elimination — with assistance from electrician Dieter Broemer — the firefighters determined the source of the problem was a fan motor in the overhead ducting.
"Potentially had we not found it, it could well have caused a fire," said Golden, who commended his team for responding promptly in the wee hours of the morning.
Along with Golden, attending firefighters included deputy chief Mike Smith, captain Ray Quevillon, Paul Bally, Ross Smith and Owen Anderson.
"It was really a combined effort," Golden said. "Considering it's a small volunteer fire department I think they did an excellent job."