Donated house burned for firefighting education

Mariner's Village construction office burned during seminar

Firefighters examine a fire scene to determine the cause.

In preparation for the 2012 Fire Prevention Officers Association of BC Annual Seminar, eight different controlled fires were set in the Mariner’s Village construction office on 6569 Sooke Rd. on May 5.

Fort St. John firefighters, who are the main instructors for the seminar, crafted 10 different fires in and around the building, designed to resemble real life scenarios like spontaneous combustion, accidental fires and arson.

Sooke firefighters then extinguished the flames as a training exercise.

Career firefighter Cam Norris-Jones said the volunteer firefighters filled various roles throughout the day.

“Those of whom are in the process, were able to use this training to reach required certification standards for firefighters,” he said via email. “Having the opportunity to train with live fire is invaluable to members of all skill and experience levels.”

The building’s charred remains were planned to be used for the seminar’s fire investigation course on May 7 and 8.

“There are… different ways the fires started,” said Fire Chief Steve Sorensen, in an interview on May 5. “It could be anything from a toaster, to spontaneous combustion, to something that’s plugged in and left on too long.”

“They’re trying to make it as realistic as possible.”

Fifty-four firefighters from around B.C., including one career firefighter from the Sooke Fire Rescue Service, were registered for the fire investigation course.

Sorensen said the firefighters would be divided into different groups, and each group would be assigned one room to investigate.

“They’ll have to treat it like a real fire,” he said.

The fire investigation course is part of the Annual Seminar, which will cover training programs, seminars on fire prevention, inspections and life safety education. The seminar began on May 7 and will run until May 11 at the Prestige Oceanfront Resort.

Mariner’s Village donated the building for training purposes.