Material placed too close to a light fixture caused what officials describe as a “very minor fire” at a Sidney thrift shop on Fourth Street Friday afternoon.
Sidney Volunteer Fire Department Chief Brett Mikkelsen said the fire caused minimal damage. “The loss of business for being shut down for an hour or two for the evacuation is probably a greater loss than the goods that were lost.”
Mikkelsen noted the fire is a good reminder for all residents to leave plenty of space between items and would-be sources of heat.
Crews from Central Saanich and North Saanich assisted in the response Friday afternoon. A day earlier, all three departments were also in action, when crews from Sidney and North Saanich responded to a chimney fire at Island Nut Roastery.
“We believe it was just an accumulation of grease and (oils from the roasting process) in the actual chimney itself,” he said.
Another good reminder for all residents to clean and check chimneys.
Firefighters from Sidney and North Saanich responded to the business after staff at Victoria International Airport had spotted the fire from the control tower.
“They (Island Nut Roastery) had no idea that there was a fire in that building, because it was all the very top and contained to the top exterior portion of the chimney. Fortunately, the folks at the control tower were on the ball, could see it and alerted us. That worked out well.”
As crews from Sidney and North Saanich dealt with the Island Nut Roastery fire, fire alarms went off at Sidney’s Pizza Hut, prompting a response from Central Saanich.
“That came in as a fire, but it really was more an alarm bell,” he said.
Crews also responded to a fire in North Saanich early Monday morning.
“That was just a pot-on-the-stove-type of thing,” he said. “And of course, there was the Aboyne (Avenue) fire before that.”
Surveying these fires, Mikkelsen said each is different. “If we had a rash of chimney fires, I’d say, ‘well, this is chimney fire season, when everyone sparks something up.’” But that is not the case here, he added later.
“Sometimes, you just get little blips like this. But again, this is a really good heads-up warning (about fire safety).”
Mikkelsen said residents should check their smoke alarms and develop an escape plan.
“If (a fire) does happen, make sure you can hear (the smoke alarm) and get out safely. We will deal with it after that.”
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