Late last Thursday morning, a Shaw Cable installer looked out the window of the house at which he was working to see his work van going up in flames.
The fire originated behind the driver’s seat, according to Campbell River Fire Department Chief Ian Baikie, but beyond that, Shaw will likely need to hire a forensic expert to determine an exact cause.
“There were a number of aftermarket electrical components in there,” Baikie said, but because of the extent of the damage, it is beyond the capabilities of the department to determine exactly what went wrong to cause the conflagration.
“I have good reason to believe that Shaw is going to look at their fleet,” he said, “since they probably have hundreds of these vans with similar wiring situations.”
Baikie said that although many people have aftermarket electronics in their vehicles, such as stereos and additional lights, this kind of event isn’t a situation he would warn the public about.
“It’s not a common fire,” he said, “so there are much more productive messages I would have for the public in terms of fire safety,” he said, such as ensuring your residence has functioning smoke alarms, being diligent and attentive when cooking with oil, and proper extension cord use, before he would put out a warning about free-standing electrical systems in vehicles that could cause fires like this one. No one was injured in the fire, and no property, other than the van itself and its contents, were damaged.