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Lit cigarette, oxygen spark Nanaimo fire, man hospitalized with burns to face

Fire happened at recently opened affordable housing complex
Nanaimo firefighters attended a small fire at an affordable housing apartment building on Hammond Bay Road on Tuesday, Feb. 20. (Greg Sakaki/News Bulletin)

A fire at a new affordable housing apartment building in Nanaimo last night sent one man to hospital with burns to his face.

Nanaimo Fire Rescue responded to an alarm in the 6000 block of Hammond Bay Rd. shortly before 9 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 20.

“It came in as a structure fire. We pulled up and there was some flames showing from the outside of the building,” said Troy Libbus, Nanaimo Fire Rescue assistant chief. “It didn’t appear to be really big, but the guys pulled a line and knocked it down right away.”

An evacuation of the building was in progress when firefighters arrived.

One man, who was using a wheelchair, suffered burns to his face and was taken to hospital. A woman who called the fire department and tried to put the fire out was attended to at the scene by B.C. Ambulance Service paramedics for minor smoke inhalation.

Nanaimo Fire Rescue fire and loss prevention officers who investigated the incident determined smoking was the cause of the fire. The man who was hospitalized was near the patio door of his living unit and was said to be wearing an oxygen mask or had it near a lit cigarette.

“It was a small fire due to smoking…” Libbus said. “There was no damage to the building. Just light smoke inside and all the smoke alarms were working.”

READ ALSO: Building with 50 affordable apartments opens in north Nanaimo

Chris Bush

About the Author: Chris Bush

As a photographer/reporter with the Nanaimo News Bulletin since 1998.
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