By Mike Gregory
A fire at a nearby RV park just outside of Ladysmith over the weekend has left one trailer gutted and another severely damaged.
The incident took place at around 10 p.m. on Saturday night at Montainaire Campground & RV Park in south Nanaimo.
Campers were enjoying a night of Halloween fun at a haunted house when one of them alerted the group that a trailer was on fire.
Park owner Val Brochner said they rounded the corner to see a “fully involved” blaze.
“The fire was shooting up into the trees…probably hitting 70 or 80 feet up,” said Brochner.
One woman was sleeping in a neighbouring trailer that was also damaged but managed to escape early on.
The owner’s of the gutted trailer is a couple in their 50s who use the park on the weekend and were attending the Halloween festivities.
“They were devastated when we called them and they came back and saw it burning. There were plenty of tears,” Bochner said.
“First indications lead us to believe that it was probably electrical but there’s no way of telling.”
As people waited for the fire department to rush to the scene, several regular guests at the park jumped into action.
“They had already pulled the hoses off their own units, hooked them onto other faucets, and they were actively fighting the fire,” she said.
“It was really impressive to see people coming together and fighting the fire and they kept it under control until the fire department got here.”
Several campers even pitched in to get the woman’s car out of the way.
Brochner said in the 10 years she has owned the park this is the first fire of this scale.
“It was a big fire. We were able to get the trailer next door from going up although it’s extensively burned.”
A car was also found suspiciously burned near the Mountainaire campground the next day.
Nanaimo RCMP attended the scene but weren’t prepared to link those incidents to suspicious fires that also took place less than 15 kilometres away later that night.
As many as ten cars and trailers were damaged, and five destroyed, at a salvage yard on two separate properties.
Those incidents took place at Central Island Towing at 140 Tenth Street and neighbouring Wilderness Travel Trailer.
No injuries were reported and no suspects have been identified.
“This is the second suspicious fire in the past week which has caused significant property damage. While there has been nothing to indicate the two are related, investigators will be reviewing both incidents to see if there is a connection,” RCMP said Const. Gary O’Brien.
Anyone with information is asked to call contact the Nanaimo RCMP at 250-754-2345 or Crime Stoppers at www.nanaimocrimestoppers.com text 274637, keyword Nanaimo or call 1-800-222-8477.