Water damage to several units after pot with oil catches fire: Langford fire

Water damage to several units after pot with oil catches fire: Langford fire
Four units and the commercial unit sustained water damage after a pot of oil caught fire on Jan. 28, 2024.

Langford fire was called to a condo building after a pot of oil caught fire and the person cooking tried to extinguish it with water, the fire chief says.

On Jan. 28, the fire department responded to a building at 844 Goldstream Ave. that has had “a few fires in the past.”

“It was fortunately in this case, a small fire,” Chris Aubrey, Langford’s fire chief tells CHEK News in an interview. “It did impact, obviously, the suite of origin and a few other suites that had some water damage.”

There were no injuries in the fire.

Aubrey says it seems someone was using a pot of oil to cook and it caught fire then the person who was cooking “in a bit of panic” moved the pot to the sink and put water on the fire “which was a very natural reaction.”

Oil or grease fires cannot be extinguished with water, and water can instead make them grow.

“Fortunately, this building is a sprinkler building so the sprinkler was able to control and contain the fire. So there wasn’t really much that we had to do to put the fire out,” Aubrey said. “But the sprinkler activated, so therefore there was some water damage, so about four suites were impacted by water and the business on the first floor.”

Aubrey says in the event of an oil fire, the best option is to place a lid or cookie sheet on top of the pot to remove oxygen from the fire.

“Always remember to stay where you’re cooking, so that you’re able to catch something quickly. If you watch what you cook, likely the fire is not going to occur, because you’ll be able to catch things as it starts to boil over,” Aubrey said. “If a pot of oil catches fire, turn the heat off and use a pot lid to slide it over top and just leave it where it is and don’t try to move it.”

Aubrey says this building was also one of the ones that was impacted by frozen pipes in the recent snowstorm.

RELATED: Cold snap freezes water pipes across Greater Victoria

Additionally, this same building experienced a fire in October 2020, where the business on the main floor experienced damage that resulted in a two-year closure.

Curious Comics was the ground floor occupant at the time of both fires, and sustained water damage in both incidents.

CHEK News reached out to Curious Comics and was told due to the incident last night they did not have time for an interview on the damage sustained.

Despite the water damage, the store shared on Facebook that it is able to remain open and some of the damaged merchandise is being offered at a discount.

Laura BroughamLaura Brougham

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