Sooke Fire and Rescue firefighters halted the explosion of two propane tanks after a trailer erupted in fire in the early hours of Wednesday morning.
A man managed to escape from the 30-foot fifth wheel trailer unscathed. The trailer was housed on T’Sou-ke Nation land.
Sooke Fire Chief Steven Sorensen said the unit’s power went out, which alarmed the occupant to go back into the nearby house to investigate what happened. He noticed the breaker was off, flipped it back and returned to the trailer.
Once back in the trailer, the man noticed the unit was filling with smoke.
“He saw the fire underneath, bailed out and called us,” Sorensen said, adding that when Sooke firefighters arrived, the entire front end of the trailer was “well-engulfed” in flames.
Sorensen noted that things got a little tricky when the occupant warned them there were two propane tanks — a 100 pounder, the other 30 — still hooked up underneath the trailer.
“We cooled those off until it was safe to go in, disconnect them and get out,” he said.
There were an additional five empty propane tanks around as well, which sometimes can be more dangerous, as there is residual gas still inside.
Sorensen also described a couple of “big bangs” with what appeared ammunition discharging due to the heat inside the trailer, which forced crews to pull back until things cooled down.
It took fire crews two hours to douse the fire
“It’s all fiberglass, so it all burned up very quickly. It doesn’t take much once you get enough heat in them,” Sorensen said, adding that the trailer was destroyed.