Firefighters from three departments battled a house fire south of Nanaimo for more than nine hours Sunday. (Photo courtesy Martin Leduc)

Home destroyed by fire south of Nanaimo

Firefighters from three fire departments battle blaze fanned by strong southerly winds on Sunday

Firefighters from North Cedar, Cranberry and North Oyster volunteer fire departments battled a house fire for more than nine hours on the weekend.

Neighbours phoned 911 at about 11 a.m. Sunday, Feb. 28, to report a house on fire on Pauls Road near the waterfront in Cedar’s Boat Harbour area.

Percy Tipping, North Cedar Fire Department chief, was the first emergency responder on scene. He doesn’t live far from Pauls Road and he said the fire was already through the roof on the lower section of the structure when he got there.

“It was pretty quick and then it got up in the attic of the second storey and then we were basically chasing it after that,” he said.

Tipping said much of the house exterior was covered in wood shakes and there was extensive use of wood throughout the interior, which provided fuel for the blaze that was fanned by strong southerly winds that pushed the flames through the structure.

“It was super windy and right off the water. It was really fanning that fire. It was very challenging to fight that,” Tipping said.

Fire damage was extensive throughout the house, though the garage, with three vehicles inside, was undamaged. No injuries were reported.

“The residents were not home at the time,” Tipping said. “They’d gone out for the morning and returned home to find us on scene.”

Fire crews from Cedar and Cranberry departments battled the blaze while Cranberry and North Oyster water tender trucks relayed water to the site.

Ron Gueulette, Cranberry Volunteer Fire Department chief, said his department worked the fire and relayed water to the site for upwards of seven hours.

Tipping said it was his understanding the home is insured.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

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