North Cowichan Fire battles early morning blaze at OK Tire

North Cowichan Fire battles early morning blaze at OK Tire

Crews from North Cowichan Fire Department were called to a fire at OK Tire in Duncan around 3:45 a.m. Sunday.

Martin Drakeley, fire chief of the department, says when crews arrived on scene, one corner of the shop was already fully in flames. He says there were some challenges in getting a water supply to fight the fire.

“Water supply was difficult there, they have some supply on Paddle Road which is about 1,500 feet away, but they had a close supply on the other side of the highway,” Drakeley said. “So we actually had to pull water supply lines from across the highway.”

Drakeley says the highway was closed for about four hours as a result.

At this time, the cause of the fire is still unknown.

“We have a fire investigator from North Cowichan and RCMP securing the building as we speak and they’ll start the investigation first thing Monday morning,” Drakeley says.

He says because the fire was inside a mechanic shop it presented some additional challenges for the firefighters.

“Crews ran into oxy-acetylene tanks, propane, hydraulic fluid and a huge score of both new and old tires, which created a fire load issue for the crew,” Drakeley says. “We were able to attack the building from two different sides and keep the fire closer to the exterior of the building where a majority of the smoke and fire we’re coming from.”

He says there wasn’t significant fire damage to the interior of the building due to the work of the fire departments.

“Crews did a great job of isolating the fire and not letting it spread throughout the building,” Drakeley says.” The roof did collapse over the second floor of the bays. There was some significant water and smoke damage but not a lot of fire damage on the inside of the building. Other than on the second floor.”

Drakeley says he is grateful for the hard work of the fire crews which attended this fire, including the teams from Ladysmith and Duncan who helped attend to this fire.

He says he is also grateful to the nearby Tim Hortons.

“And the biggest shout out to Tim Hortons for making all the coffee and food for the guys who were working hard,” Drakeley said.

Laura BroughamLaura Brougham

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