Three homes were damaged by an early morning fire on Craigflower Road. (Kendra Crighton/News Staff)

UPDATED: Early morning fire sends four to hospital, destroys three homes on Songhees Nation

Neighbours heard screams, explosions before helping others flee the flames

Frantic screams woke Angela Elder up at around 5 a.m. Wednesday morning. Peering through her bedroom window, she could see flames shooting up from a mobile home across the road in the 1200-block of Craigflower Road.

Two people were able to escape from the home just before Elder heard explosions. After calling 911, she began knocking on doors and evacuating the homes adjacent to the flaming structure.

She said an elderly couple, living in one of the homes engulfed in flames, fled the fire with nothing on but what they wore to bed — “no shoes, no coat, no nothing.”

According to Environment Canada, temperatures in some areas of the West Shore reached as low as 1 C Wednesday morning. Esquimalt and Greater Victoria’s core saw temperatures around 5 C.

Martin Sundstorm, another neighbour living in the tight-knit community on the Songhees Nation, heard the screams while having his morning coffee and called 911 as well, before joining Elder, banging on doors to notify neighbours — worried they would have to evacuate the whole park.

Sundstorm wrapped a housecoat around one of the victims of the fire, while Elder found some shoes for another.

The group gathered across the road and watched three trailers become completely engulfed in flames. Other neighbours, watching from above, reported seeing flames shoot at least 100 feet into the air following an explosion.

When View Royal Fire Chief Paul Hurst arrived on scene the flames were too high to try and salvage the homes. Fire crews worked to save nearby homes, using ladders to fight the fire from above. Esquimalt and Colwood fire crews were also called to help fight the fire.

ALSO READ: Emergency crews respond to structure fire on Songhees Nation

Firefighters noted a few 100-pound propane tanks were venting – letting out propane due to a build-up of excessive pressure within the tank – which is what neighbours believe caused the sounds they heard.

Surrounding hydro lines began to catch fire, that’s when Elder said the scene got really scary.

BC Hydro shut off power in the area to ensure firefighter safety.

According to Hurst, four people were transported to Victoria General Hospital with different injuries. Elder hopes they’ll be able to stay there for the night, as the victim’s families are spread across the country.

Emergency Support Services and a BC Transit bus were on scene to help displaced residents.

Hurst told Black Press Media there is no word on what caused the fire, but every fire is treated as suspicious until deemed otherwise. An investigation team will begin sifting through the rubble of the three destroyed homes, which Hurst believes could take a few days.

Two vehicles were also destroyed and two neighbouring homes received some fire damage.

The fire closed Craigflower Road between Admirals and Tillicum roads for much of the morning commute.

READ ALSO: Ask a Saanich firefighter: Escape plans, fireworks and more


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

 

Emergency crews responding to a structure fire on Craigflower Road. (Photos courtesy of View Royal Fire Rescue)

Emergency crews responding to a structure fire on Craigflower Road. (Photos courtesy of View Royal Fire Rescue)

Emergency crews responding to a structure fire on Craigflower Road. (Photos courtesy of View Royal Fire Rescue)

Just Posted

Power outage planned for Victoria General Hospital

Island Health says essential services and patient care won’t be impacted during Oct. 19 outage

The Great British Columbia ShakeOut returns Oct. 17

Residents across the province drop, cover and hold on

Bonfires allowed in Saanich for $10 but only on Halloween night

Residents can purchase permits at any Saanich fire station

Vendors open doors to new futures at Black Press Extreme Education & Career Fair

More tham two dozen employers, educators signed on for Victoria event

B.C.’s rural paramedic program expands, with home support

Advanced care ambulance staff added for six communities

‘Save the kids!’ Dorian survivor tells the harrowing story of his Canadian wife’s death

Family held a funeral and placed Alishia Liolli’s remains in a niche at a cemetery in Windsor, Ont.

Okanagan woman, 91, votes at advance polls despite broken hip, shoulder and wrist

Angela Maynard has voted in almost every election during her lifetime

Heiltsuk Nation open first Big House in 120 years in northern B.C.

Opening means the community now has an appropriate space for spiritual and ceremonial events

Singh says NDP would form coalition with the Liberals to stop Tories

Singh was in a Liberal-held riding Sunday afternoon in Surrey where he was pressed about his post-election intentions

‘My heart goes out to the mother’: B.C. dad reacts to stabbing death of Ontario boy

Carson Crimeni, who was also 14, was bullied relentlessly, his dad says

The one with the ‘Friends’ photoshoot: Kelowna group recreates TV show intro

A friend’s departure prompted them to create something that really says, “I’ll be there for you”

Canadian Snowbirds plane crashes before air show in Atlanta

Pilot lands safely after ejecting from jet

Share crash data, private insurers tell David Eby, ICBC

B.C. monopoly makes drivers retrieve their own records

Most Read