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Man airlifted with severe burns from Ladysmith house fire

Blaze heavily damaged house on Deer Point Road on Stz’uminus First Nation land
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A fire at a home on Stz’uminus First Nation territory is believed to have started from a fish smoker on the back deck of the house. (Photo courtesy North Oyster Fire Rescue)

Fire departments from North Oyster, Ladysmith and North Cedar battled a blaze on the weekend that sent one person to hospital with severe burns.

Firefighters responded to the alarm at about 1 p.m. Saturday, April 13, when a fire broke out in a rancher-style home on Deer Point Road on Stz’uminus First Nation land near Yellow Point.

Florian Schulz, North Oyster Fire Rescue chief, said crews arrived on scene to see fire and heavy smoke coming from the rear of the home.

“When they arrived there was … smoke essentially coming out everywhere from structure, but flames off the back deck and the roof section,” he said. “Reports were there was nobody inside the building, so they did their regular suppression actions and once the fire was essentially out they did go in and confirm there was nobody else in the house.”

An air ambulance was dispatched to pick up the occupant of the house, who had suffered burns and had been at a neighbouring home as crews fought the fire. Schulz said the incident commander was informed the patient was to be airlifted to Victoria for severe burns, but beyond that, he did not know the extent of the person’s injuries.

Schulz said the house suffered severe fire damage to the rear of the structure and there is heavy smoke damage throughout. He did not know if the occupant had insurance.

The probable cause of the blaze was a fish smoker on the back deck of the home. Schulz said he and his incident commander investigated the damage after the fire was out and found metal grates that were likely part of a smoker. He said the best advice when using meat or fish smokers is to keep the devices well away from combustible materials and keep a close watch on them.

READ ALSO: Person found dead after house fire in Ladysmith

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Firefighters arrived on scene to find smoke and flame coming from a home on Stz’uminus First Nation land in Ladysmith on the weekend. The home’s occupant was flown to hospital in Victoria with burn injuries. (Photo courtesy North Oyster Fire Rescue)

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Chris Bush

About the Author: Chris Bush

As a photographer/reporter with the Nanaimo News Bulletin since 1998.
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