Smoke Signals and Police Beat

  • May. 18, 2011 5:00 p.m.

A pair of major incidents in the early morning hours of May 14 occupied the resources of firefighters from Metchosin to Shirley.

• Chief Sorensen described how a mutual aid call had been relayed to his department by his colleagues in Otter Point.

The call was received at 3:30 a.m. and related to a fire at Jordan River.

Sorensen said that because of the power outage most of Friday, May 13, a propane-powered welding machine had been in extended use at a former highways department property.

He said the machine had gotten so hot it set fire to the room it was stored in, triggering an explosion of propane tanks, so loud it was heard aboard a passing naval vessel.

A large shop was burned and the fire spread to a building that housed a large steel boat. A house was damaged but saved from serious damage.

A nearby 1,000 gallon propane tank was spared in the blaze.

The exercise was made all the more challenging by the need to make repeated trips to Sheringham Point for water.

At the height of the action there were personnel from departments in Metchosin and East Sooke making contributions.

• That same morning just before 7 a.m. a chimney fire at an Anderson Road home was reported. The fire had spread to the attic but was soon controlled and damage was limited. The resident had been awoken and, just as with the other event, no injuries were suffered.

• The following day Sooke Fire Rescue was summoned to Village Foods where an electric motor in a freezer had apparently shorted out. Sorensen said a large amount of smoke had been produced and the store was temporarily evacuated. The chief estimated the damage was confined to the motor itself.

•  Twelve medical calls had been responded to in the last week, four of which were received, according to Sorensen, with no available ambulance in Sooke as other calls were being attended to.

• Lastly, an arsonist appears to be at work in Sooke, having set fire to trees in the area of the former John Phillips Memorial Golf Course. The events have occurred on three separate occasions. Sorensen said it may be hard to believe, given the wet weather of late, but the running sap does make the trees fairly flammable. The issue is under police investigation.

Police Bear

•Sooke RCMP responded to a May 10 break-in at Winks Store at the corner of Sooke Road and Sooke River Road.

“That call came in at 3:15 in the morning,” described Staff Sergeant Steve Wright. “By the time we got there the suspects were gone.”

Entry was gained by a rear window. No information was available in terms of damages or losses as a result of the crime.

The staff sergeant indicated two males, a Colwood resident born in 1992 and a Sooke resident born in 1993, were taken into custody the following day in relation to the incident.

“One person was held in custody and the other was released with papers to appear in court,” said Wright.

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