Tenants evacuated after fire in Chemainus apartment

Smoking is bed is the suspected cause of a fire Jan. 11 at Lockwood Villa in Chemainus.

Smoking in bed is the suspected cause of Friday’s early-morning fire at Lockwood Villa in Chemainus.

Smoking in bed is the suspected cause of Friday’s early-morning fire at Lockwood Villa in Chemainus.

Location is everything, especially during a fire.

Smoking in bed is the suspected cause of Friday’s early-morning blaze in the four-floor Lockwood Villa apartment building on Chemainus’ Pine Street — just down the street from Mural Town’s fire hall, assistant to the fire commissioner Rob Clark says.

Residents planned to meet with insurance agents and other officials Sunday, Jan. 13. Those tenants were evacuated from the 50-unit complex as alarms sounded, and fire damaged a man’s second-floor suite at around 3:30 a.m. Jan. 11. That 61-year-old suffered minor smoke inhalation and was taken to hospital, Clark said.

“His suite is pretty well a total loss.”

All other residents of the 1970s-era building were given accommodation through Cowichan region’s emergency services.

“They’re all being looked after,” said Clark.

Insurance investigation will determine when folks can return to their suites in the strata-run, fully-occupied complex that received various levels of smoke and water damage.

“Health and safety is the most important thing right now,” Clark said of getting Lockwood’s fire-alarm system reactivated.

Chemainus firefighters received pumper assistance, plus five crew members, from Crofton’s hall.

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