Extension volunteer firefighters tackle fire that spread into the wooded area around the smouldering remains of a house that burned to the ground on Nanaimo River Road on Thursday. (CHRIS BUSH/The News Bulletin)

UPDATE: House destroyed by fire on Nanaimo River Road

Extension Volunteer Fire Department on scene, no injuries reported

A fire destroyed a house on Nanaimo River Road on Thursday afternoon.

Smoke from the blaze was first noticed sometime around 4 p.m. when Cranberry Volunteer Fire Department was called out to deal what was thought might be a vehicle fire in a gravel pit on the north side of the Nanaimo River, but a call by Ron Gueulette, Cranberry fire chief, to the gravel pit operators revealed there was no fire there, but that it appeared to be farther north near the Nanaimo River and that it was likely a structure on fire.

Cranberry volunteer firefighters already had trucks in the area and eventually found a burning house, located in an isolated spot overlooking the Nanaimo River on a large property in the 600 block of Nanaimo River Road.

Extension Volunteer Fire Department, which serves that area, was called to the scene, as Cranberry firefighters attempted an initial attack on the blaze, but narrow, steep and wooded terrain and downed live power lines hindered efforts to get at the fire.

“They tried to, but the Hydro [connection] came down and it was still hot and it was arcing and stuff all over the access road so they really couldn’t do much until Hydro got there,” Gueulette said.

Extension volunteer firefighters deployed trucks to another road on the property, paralleling a bluff behind the house and ran hose lines through a heavily wooded area to attack the fire, which was spreading into the brush around the structure.

Gueulette, who was in Vancouver at the time but was in direct communication with his firefighters, said he was surprised no one had spotted the fire earlier given the large volume of smoke sent up by the blaze, which had razed the house to the ground by the time fire crews arrived on scene.

“The first report that I got from my captain that it was already on the ground by the time they actually located it,” he said.

The owner of the property was not home at the time and there were no reports of injury resulting from the fire.

Extension Volunteer Fire Department has not reported a possible cause for the fire.

Just Posted

Breakfast with Santa a Ladysmith staple

Nearly 700 people took part in this annual charity event

Christmas comes alive in Crofton

Parade entries light up the night and rain holds off

Upset student causes safety plan to be enacted at Chemainus Elementary School

Child’s behaviour results in students being held in classrooms until order restored

What is happening to our beloved Christmas?

Trying not to offend minority groups or naysayers going too far

Salmon runs produce highs and lows on Vancouver Island this year

Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada releases information bulletin

Lawyer for Chinese exec detained by Canada says it’s ‘inconceivable’ she would flee

Meng Wanzhou was detained at the request of the U.S. during a layover at the Vancouver airport

Federal government plans examination of coerced sterilization

The Liberals have been pressed for a rapid response to recent reports on the sterilizations

Huitema, Cornelius named 2018 Canadian Youth International Players of the Year

Huitema was captain of Canada’s fourth-place team at this year’s FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup

Canada not slowing emissions from oil and gas: environmental groups

New report released at the United Nations climate talks in Poland

Liberal Party moves Trudeau fundraiser from military base

The fundraiser is scheduled for Dec. 19, with tickets costing up to $400

Pipeline protesters arrested at B.C. university

Three protesters were arrested after TRU property allegedly vandalized with red paint

Goodale to ‘examine’ transfer of Rafferty to medium-security prison

Michael Rafferty was sentenced to life in prison in 2012 in the kidnapping, sexual assault and first-degree murder of Tori Stafford

‘Abhorrent’ condition of autistic B.C. boy shows flaws in care system: report

‘Charlie’ was underweight and ‘covered in feces’ when he was removed from his mom’s care

Minister appoints former CIRB chair to resolve Canada Post labour dispute

Postal workers engaged in weeks of rotating walkouts

Most Read