A fire-damaged mattress was passed through the window of a room at the Travelodge in Parksville on Tuesday, Sept. 28, 2021. (Peter McCully photo)

A fire-damaged mattress was passed through the window of a room at the Travelodge in Parksville on Tuesday, Sept. 28, 2021. (Peter McCully photo)

1 person suffers burns, others evacuated after late-night blaze at Vancouver Island hotel

Parksville fire chief credits active and inspected sprinkler systems for limiting damage

A late-night fire at the Parksville Travelodge sent one person to hospital for burns and smoke inhalation.

Fire chief Marc Norris with the Parksville Fire Department said crews responded to reports of a structure fire at the hotel at approximately 11:34 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 28.

The first officer on scene found an active fire in a unit on the first floor on the building’s west side, which, thanks to the sprinkler system, had been contained to that unit and kept to a “moderate” size.

Norris said, again thanks to the sprinkler system, the fire was completely extinguished within 10 minutes, and smoke was kept within close proximity to the unit.

The room’s occupant did suffer moderate burns and was transported by BC Ambulance to Nanaimo for treatment.

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“There is no doubt that fire sprinkler systems, fire alarm systems and smoke detectors save lives. And this is a great example of that. This would have been a much more serious incident, much more extensive with the potential of more injuries to people, or loss of life, if that building had not been sprinklered,” said Norris.

After the blaze was out, firefighters searched the rest of the hotel and evacuated occupants who had not left when the fire alarms went off. Crews then also reset the sprinkler and fire alarm systems.

Though investigators were on scene the next day, Norris said they were able to determine the fire originated next to one of the beds in the unit, but was not able to comment on the cause at this time.

The first floor of the hotel cannot currently be occupied due to water, but the second and third floors were reoccupied at approximately 3 a.m. early Wednesday morning.

PFD responded with five units and 20 personnel, and were supported by RCMP, BC Ambulance Service, BC Hydro and the city’s Emergency Support Services (ESS).

mandy.moraes@pqbnews.com

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