Three homes were damaged by an early morning fire on Craigflower Road. (Kendra Crighton/News Staff)

UPDATED: Early morning fire sends four to hospital, destroys three homes on Songhees Nation

Neighbours heard screams, explosions before helping others flee the flames

Frantic screams woke Angela Elder up at around 5 a.m. Wednesday morning. Peering through her bedroom window, she could see flames shooting up from a mobile home across the road in the 1200-block of Craigflower Road.

Two people were able to escape from the home just before Elder heard explosions. After calling 911, she began knocking on doors and evacuating the homes adjacent to the flaming structure.

She said an elderly couple, living in one of the homes engulfed in flames, fled the fire with nothing on but what they wore to bed — “no shoes, no coat, no nothing.”

According to Environment Canada, temperatures in some areas of the West Shore reached as low as 1 C Wednesday morning. Esquimalt and Greater Victoria’s core saw temperatures around 5 C.

Martin Sundstorm, another neighbour living in the tight-knit community on the Songhees Nation, heard the screams while having his morning coffee and called 911 as well, before joining Elder, banging on doors to notify neighbours — worried they would have to evacuate the whole park.

Sundstorm wrapped a housecoat around one of the victims of the fire, while Elder found some shoes for another.

The group gathered across the road and watched three trailers become completely engulfed in flames. Other neighbours, watching from above, reported seeing flames shoot at least 100 feet into the air following an explosion.

When View Royal Fire Chief Paul Hurst arrived on scene the flames were too high to try and salvage the homes. Fire crews worked to save nearby homes, using ladders to fight the fire from above. Esquimalt and Colwood fire crews were also called to help fight the fire.

ALSO READ: Emergency crews respond to structure fire on Songhees Nation

Firefighters noted a few 100-pound propane tanks were venting – letting out propane due to a build-up of excessive pressure within the tank – which is what neighbours believe caused the sounds they heard.

Surrounding hydro lines began to catch fire, that’s when Elder said the scene got really scary.

BC Hydro shut off power in the area to ensure firefighter safety.

According to Hurst, four people were transported to Victoria General Hospital with different injuries. Elder hopes they’ll be able to stay there for the night, as the victim’s families are spread across the country.

Emergency Support Services and a BC Transit bus were on scene to help displaced residents.

Hurst told Black Press Media there is no word on what caused the fire, but every fire is treated as suspicious until deemed otherwise. An investigation team will begin sifting through the rubble of the three destroyed homes, which Hurst believes could take a few days.

Two vehicles were also destroyed and two neighbouring homes received some fire damage.

The fire closed Craigflower Road between Admirals and Tillicum roads for much of the morning commute.

READ ALSO: Ask a Saanich firefighter: Escape plans, fireworks and more


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Emergency crews responding to a structure fire on Craigflower Road. (Photos courtesy of View Royal Fire Rescue)

Emergency crews responding to a structure fire on Craigflower Road. (Photos courtesy of View Royal Fire Rescue)

Emergency crews responding to a structure fire on Craigflower Road. (Photos courtesy of View Royal Fire Rescue)

Just Posted

Claremont Spartans win the inaugural Senior Girls’ AAAA Basketball Island Championship

Claremont Spartans win their Feb. 15 game agains the Royal Bay Ravens 71 - 64

Campus View Elementary undergoes $4.2 million in seismic upgrades

Campus View Elementary undergoes significant seismic upgrades

Sidney company tastes sweet success with sugar kelp

Cascadia Seaweed is experiencing rapid growth after launching six months ago

North Saanich floats tougher policies for buoys and moorings near Tsehum Harbour

Municipality also considers additional collaboration with Sidney and other communities

Westin Bear Mountain invests $2 million to renovate newly-named spa

‘Amatista Spa’ has yet to announce official opening date

VIDEO: Minister reports ‘modest progress’ after blockade talks with First Nation

Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs say Coastal GasLink does not have authority to go through their lands

Henrique scores 2 as Ducks soar past Canucks 5-1

Vancouver tumbles out of top spot in Pacific Division

Trudeau cancels Caribbean trip amid pipeline protests across Canada

Protests against Coastal GasLink have disrupted rail service

B.C. VIEWS: Inaction on pipeline protests not a viable response

Columnist Frank Bucholtz on how the Coastal GasLink pipeline dispute got so bad

PHOTOS: Top 10 memories of the 2010 Olympics

Black Press Media’s Jenna Hauck, shares some of her most memorable images of 2010 Winter Games

#FoxForFiver: Support grows in B.C. to put Terry Fox on new $5 bill

Terry Fox’ Marathon of Hope raised money for cancer research

Trudeau confers with cabinet ministers as rail blockades continue

The Trudeau government has been criticized for not doing more to end the blockades

Canadian nurses’ unions warn national standards for coronavirus protection too low

President says safety protocols nationwide are inadequate compared to those in Ontario and other countries

Most Read