Firefighters battle a structure fire at a property on Spruston Road in Cassidy on Wednesday night. GREG SAKAKI/The News Bulletin

VIDEO: Hoarders’ house south of Nanaimo burns down

Regional District of Nanaimo had recently directed a cleanup of ‘unsightly’ property

A hoarders’ house south of Nanaimo burned down last night.

An abandoned home on Spruston Road in Cassidy was destroyed by a blaze that broke out just before 10:50 p.m. on Wednesday.

Cranberry Volunteer Fire Department crews found a fully involved structure fire when they arrived on scene, and North Cedar Fire Department was called to provide assistance.

Neighbours said the property had been recently cleaned up at the direction of the Regional District of Nanaimo.

A staff report in October from Tom Armet, RDN manager of building and bylaw services, referred to the property, 1415 Spruston Rd., as “unsightly” and noted that the “amount of debris, discarded materials and derelict vehicles on the property is extensive and may include hazardous materials, requiring specialized removal procedures. The area fire chief and the police have expressed concerns about the safety of first responders in the event of a fire or other emergency occurring on or near the property.”

It was estimated that 100 truckloads would be required to haul away all the material from the yard.

The Regional District of Nanaimo obtained a B.C. Supreme Court order in July 2007 directing the homeowners to clean up the property. In July 2017, the B.C. Supreme Court found the property owners in contempt of court for failing to comply with the terms of the 2007 ruling, and ordered them to “remove all refuse, tires, pallets and plastic containers from the lands” at their own expense.

A neighbour said prior to the fire, the house appeared to have been boarded up securely.

At least four houses in and around Nanaimo have been destroyed by fire over a one-week period. For more coverage, click here, here and here.

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