Fire at Sooke elementary school

Fire at Sooke elementary school

Two fatalities in East Sooke house fire

Fires keep regional fire departments busy over past week

Two elderly people perished in a house fire in the early morning hours of November 1.

The couple, who had immigrated to Canada 20 years ago to be closer to their grandchildren, were Leonard and Brenda Grundy, 85 and 83 years old respectively. They had been married for 65 years.

Members of the Sooke RCMP responded  to a call of fatalities from the house fire on Copper Mine Road.

The call came into the East Sooke Volunteer Fire Department around 4 a.m. from a woman driving by who saw flames coming through the roof at 1355 Copper Mine Road. The fire department responded very quickly after the call but it was too late as the home was engulfed.

RCMP say there is no evidence of foul play. Sooke detachment members are continuing to investigate and assist the BC Coroner and the BC Fire Commissioner.

The early morning fire brought out fire departments from East Sooke and Sooke, with about 30 volunteer firefighters battling the blaze. The fire is thought to have started in the living room. It is believed that the couple was unable to escape the blaze due to the location of their bedroom and the hallway.

The couple’s son, Steve Grundy, had stated that his father was a retired draftsman and his mother worked for a real estate company, then for local government before coming to East Sooke.

The fire department recommends people check the batteries in their fire and smoke alarms by pressing the test button. Changing the batteries is a good precaution.

Two days earlier, on October 29, the Sooke Fire Department, along with the Otter Point and Metchosin fire departments attended an electrical fire at Sooke elementary school at around 4 p.m.

“The fire started in an electrical connection that fed one of the light fixtures in the room,” said Fire Chief Steven Sorensen via email. “These lights were installed 17 years ago. Took this long for the short circuit to develop. The subsequent fire burned along the ceiling, scorching about 10 of the roof joists.

“If not for the action of the custodian who happened to do his rounds early that night, it is quite likely that the fire would have took hold of the ceiling and spread rapidly through that wing of the school.  It would have been very similar to what happened to the Evergreen Mall.  Fortunately quick action by the fire department in locating the seat of the fire and then knocking it down quickly prevented a major event.  The crews did a remarkable job last night and should be very proud of their efforts.”

Mutual aid was given by the Metchosin and Otter Point Fire Departments, along with the Sooke Ambulance and the RCMP assisting.

“Great support by Otter Point and Metchosin FDs at the fire and the Sooke Ambulance and RCMP in assisting in other duties,” said Sorensen.

Classes resumed the next day.

Sooke Elementary dates back to 1891 when the first school in Springside area became too small and Mr. William Bell Charters donated land for a new school. Since then the school has had new buildings, been rebuilt, then added to and more recently renovated. a claim to fame of being the oldest school in B.C. situated on the original site.

Currently they have 241 children.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Sean Hart, 34, unexpectedly left the Seven Oaks Tertiary Mental Health Facility in Saanich on Nov. 6, 2020 and has now been missing for six months. (Photo courtesy Penny Hart)
Search continues for Saanich man Sean Hart six months after his disappearance

Support from community, police keeps his mother hopeful

Police stopped, then let go this man and his large collection of cans during a stop Monday morning on Resthaven Drive. Police had received a report of a possible theft, but let him go after he had returned the property, which he believed was his to take after being left out in public. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
Report of theft, balancing act on Sidney street draws curious onlookers

Incident happened just before 8:30 a.m. opposite of Vancouver Island Regional Library branch

Oak Bay resident Hugh Thompson died Friday, May 7. (GoFundMe photo)
Oak Bay dad dies mountain biking near Shawnigan Lake

Community rallies around family with online fundraiser

Daniel Foster, last seen in downtown Parksville on Saturday, May 1. (submitted photo)
RCMP seek help locating missing Victoria man, last spotted in Parksville

Daniel Foster, 43, seen via surveillance camera using an ATM

Victoria Police Department looks to identify a person of interest after a Friday night stabbing. (VicPD handout)
Police seek person of interest after Victoria stabbing

Friday night assault leaves one with potentially life-altering injuries

A bullet hole is seen in the windshield of an RCMP vehicle approximately 4 km from Vancouver International Airport after a one person was killed during a shooting outside the international departures terminal at the airport, in Richmond, B.C., Sunday, May 9, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Homicide team IDs man in fatal YVR shooting as police grapple with spate of gang violence

Man, 20, charged in separate fatal shooting Burnaby over the weekend

RCMP are searching for Philip Toner, who is a ‘person of interest’ in the investigation of a suspicious death in Kootenay National Park last week. Photo courtesy BC RCMP.
RCMP identify ‘person of interest’ in Kootenay National Park suspicious death

Police are looking for Philip Toner, who was known to a woman found dead near Radium last week

Vancouver Canucks goaltender Thatcher Demko (35) makes a save on Winnipeg Jets’ Nate Thompson (11) during second period NHL action in Winnipeg, Monday, May 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Fred Greenslade
Vancouver Canucks see NHL playoff hopes dashed despite 3-1 win over Winnipeg

Montreal Canadiens earn final North Division post-season spot

The B.C. legislature went from 85 seats to 87 before the 2017 election, causing a reorganization with curved rows and new desks squeezed in at the back. The next electoral boundary review could see another six seats added. (Black Press files)
B.C. election law could add six seats, remove rural protection

North, Kootenays could lose seats as cities gain more

The Independent Investigations Office of B.C. is investigating the shooting of an Indigenous woman in the Ucluelet First Nation community of Hitacu. (Black Press Media file photo)
B.C. First Nation wants ‘massive change’ after its 3rd police shooting in less than a year

Nuu-chah-nulth woman recovering from gunshot wounds in weekend incident near Ucluelet

Nurse Gurinder Rai, left, administers the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine to Maria Yule at a Fraser Health drive-thru vaccination site, in Coquitlam, B.C., on Wednesday, May 5, 2021. The site is open for vaccinations 11 hours per day to those who have pre-booked an appointment. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
COVID vaccine bookings to open for adults 40+, or 18+ in hotspots, across B.C.

Only people who have registered will get their alert to book

Dr. Victoria Lee, CEO of Fraser Health, hosts an update on efforts to contain B.C.’s COVID-19 transmission in Surrey and the Fraser Valley and protect hospitals in the Lower Mainland, May 6, 2021. (B.C. government video)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate slowing, 20 more people die

Deaths include two people in their 40s, two in their 50s

Most Read