Firefighters tackle the blaze on Rupert Street in Port Hardy last Monday night. The blaze was the seventh structure fire in the town this year.

Firefighters tackle the blaze on Rupert Street in Port Hardy last Monday night. The blaze was the seventh structure fire in the town this year.

Home gutted in latest Hardy fire

The seventh structure fire in Port Hardy this year guts home.

PORT HARDY — The Volunteer Fire Department responded to the latest in what has become a spate of fires in Port Hardy this year.

Firefighters received the call to a home on Rupert Street in Waddington Gardens at around 6:05 p.m. Sunday. While the family were able to get out safely, the blaze effectively gutted the unit, causing an estimated $120,000 of damage.

Port Hardy has now had seven structure fires this year, resulting in upwards of $800,000 total damage, a disproportionally high number considering the population. For comparison, Comox Fire Department have tackled a pair of chimney fires to date this year.

Port Hardy Fire Chief Schell Nickerson said there was no trend to the fires, having a variety of causes and circumstances, but the volume of fires was unusually high.

There was one common factor that he’d like to change though: only one of the homes had a working smoke alarm.

“It’s your early warning,” said Nickerson. “It could be that thirty seconds that saves your life.”

Fortunately, despite all the fires there have been no serious injuries, although firefighters have had some minor injuries tackling the blazes.