‘Ball of flame’: East Sooke home destroyed by fire after propane tanks explode, two residents escape


Two residents escaped and are considered safe after a fire caused propane tanks to explode, destroying a home in East Sooke Thursday night.

East Sooke Volunteer Fire Department, as well as crews from nearby departments, were called to the structure fire on Jupiter Place that resulted in at least a dozen spot fires Thursday evening.

Crews arrived on scene around 9 p.m. and the fire took about an hour to get under control.

“When I arrived on scene, met the distraught homeowners and the structure was just a large ball of flame, propane tanks exploding, and basically a rain of ember coming down from the sky,” said Carl Neilson, East Sooke Volunteer Fire Department Chief.

Neilson added that both owners of the house were able to get out of the structure safely.

The Fire Chief says that the main house fire sparked several spot fires on nearby properties which resulted in crews working through Friday morning to prevent any further spread.

“We had heard what sounded like firecrackers, we came outside and we heard the explosion and it was massive,” said Linda Donato, a neighbour.

The aftermath of a house fire in east Sooke. (Oli Herrera/CHEK News)

Donato tells CHEK News that she was awoken by the explosion late Thursday night and found several of the spot fires on her property. She says she had to hose down her home.

“I didn’t get any sleep,” said Donato.

Members of Metchosin Fire Department, Sooke Fire Rescue Department and Otter Point Fire Department were also on scene to assist with the response.

There is no cause determined at this time, but Neilson says the fire began in the garage. The house is considered a total loss.

Crews remained on scene overnight and on Friday morning, excavator crews arrived on scene to clean up the site.

Sooke RCMP were also on scene to assist, but it is unclear if they are conducting an investigation at this time.

Just before 5 a.m. Friday, East Sooke Fire posted on Facebook that crews remained on scene looking for additional spot fires, but that the structure fire and all spot fires had been extinguished.

The initial post about the fire came in just after 2 a.m. Friday morning, where the fire department said crews were responding to a structure fire off Parkheights Drive.

“There are several spot fires in the area as a result,” the post says. “Crews have all the fires under control.”

One CHEK News viewer said in an email that he heard what he initially believed to be fireworks around 9 p.m. on Oct. 20, then he later heard from neighbours it was a house fire.

The aftermath of a house fire in east Sooke. (Oli Herrera/CHEK News)


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