An fire early Thursday morning that started near an outbuilding at a Headquarters Road property spread into nearby trees and ignited the roof of a residence.
“When I was driving I saw what looked like a larger bonfire and when I stopped it looked a little too close to the house and trees to be a bonfire,” witness Mark Staples said.
The Courtenay Fire Department was dispatched at 12:20 a.m. to the property which contains cabins in the 4600 block of Headquarters. The property borders Maple Pool Campsite to the south.
“When we got there, the fire had grown to such a level that it lit some of the trees on fire, and we’re talking big trees, that were next to a pile of debris,” deputy fire chief Kurt MacDonald said.
The fire also reached the roof of a cabin, but MacDonald said the resident was not inside.
As firefighters sprayed water, they noticed a pair of leaking 45-gallon drums of gasoline.
“Which presented a whole bunch of issues for us,” MacDonald said. “The fire was very stubborn.”
Crew members used a foam unit to control the gasoline.
The fire department appreciates assistance from members of the City of Courtenay public works department who contained the gas and possibly prevented it from reaching the Tsolum River.
“They did some diking for us, they put . . . pads in a ditch. They really did a bang-up job,” MacDonald said.
The fire is not suspicious at this time.
With files from Gord Kurbis/CTV Vancouver Island