Flames broke out at the old Crofton Elementary School site Friday night, but firefighters managed to contain the blaze to a back section of the building.
The call went out at about 9:30 p.m., with nearby members of the Crofton Fire Department’s hall, located literally across the street from the abandoned school building, and Chemainus Fire Department attending. The South End Fire Department also attended with its aerial truck that was required to reach the back portion of the roof.
Fire was already through one side of the building and into the roof when crews arrived on the scene. About 25 firefighters worked for four hours to bring the fire under control and prevent it from spreading very far from the anticipated spot where it started.
The RCMP will be investigating to try and determine the cause of the blaze.
“The fire did start on the outside of the building and moved quickly into the roof,” noted Crofton fire chief Matt Ludvigson. “The roof of the structure did not collapse at all, but there was a portion of the floor that was extremely soft and the firefighters did remove that section for safety reasons.”
The old Crofton Elementary School building on Robert Street has been empty for nearly 10 years after the new school opened on York Avenue.