Sirens and lights echoed all over Sooke during the early hours of Saturday morning after a fire erupted at the Grant Manor apartment complex on Grant Road.
According to first responders, there were no fatalities, and all residents were evacuated from their units and put up overnight in either the Sooke Community Hall or local hotels.
The fire, which broke out just after midnight, began in one of the ground-level suites in the middle section of the building, said Sooke Fire Chief Steven Sorensen.
“From what we know so far is that the guy was asleep on his couch, woke up and the room was on fire, after which he ran out,” Sorensen said, adding the fire went up through the roof, then started spreading.
Fire crews from Langford, Metchosin, East Sooke and Otter Point fire departments responded to assist with quelling down the flames, but even with the extra manpower, the fire didn’t let up easily, Sorensen noted.
“It took us three hours before we had it, because it kept flaring up in the roof and travelled to all these different spots,” he said, noting that there were 35 firefighters on scene.
While the ferocity of the fire left a significant hole right through the middle of the structure, Sorensen said the damage remains 50-50.
“Some suites suffered significant damage, while light water and smoke damage is present in all other throughout the building,” he said. “Closer to the centre though, the worse it is.”
Grant Manor resident Morgan Proudlove was away at his friend’s place that night when he heard his building was on fire.
“I still have my stuff in there, and I haven’t been able to go inside at all,” Proudlove said, adding he doesn’t have any idea what’s going to happen next.
Proudlove said this was the second fire the building had endured in years, with the first one, albeit not as major, beginning after someone tossed a cigarette in the hallway.
Cause of the fire last night currently remains unknown and the investigation is on-going.
Those who wish to assist somehow can visit a Facebook page which was created in support of Grant Manor residents affected by the fire.