‘It was lighting up pretty good’: Neighbour helps suppress Port Alberni fire until crews arrive

'It was lighting up pretty good': Neighbour helps suppress Port Alberni fire until crews arrive
Neighbour helps suppress backyard debris fire until Port Alberni fire crews arrive. Photo credit: Dean Stoltz

Quick action by a neighbour with a garden hose may have prevented a serious fire from spreading in Port Alberni Tuesday.

Firefighters were called to a back alley in the Anderson Avenue and Montrose Street area around 2 p.m. when smoke and flames were seen coming from a back yard.

Kelly Robertson, who lives three houses away from the fire, told CHEK News he saw the flames and instantly grabbed his water hose to help contain the fire until help arrived.

“It was lighting up pretty good so I yelled to the house and some dogs started coming out,” Robertson said. “A guy came out and a couple of neighbours and I got a hose together and two of us were on it and called the fire department.”

Chief Mike Owens, with Port Alberni Fire, said a debris pile in a backyard caught fire.

He added the fire was growing when crews arrived and started to spread to a neighbour’s bushes.

Something Owens said can happen more easily as we head into summer.

“For a June that has been fairly wet, we’re still seeing that surface fuels are very dry,” Owens explained. “It’s not something we are seeing deep-seeded fire at this moment in time but the surface fuels are tinder dry.”

The homeowner where the fire happened was not at home at the time of the blaze.

Owens added the homeowner had not had any sort of fire in their yard recently that could have sparked.

The cause of the fire in under investigation.

With files from CHEK’s Dean Stoltz.

Mackenzie ReadMackenzie Read

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