A fire was accidentally set to the exterior of a home on the Stz’uminus First Nation early Thursday afternoon after a man tried to clear a section of pesky blackberry bush.
Sixteen North Oyster firefighters responded to the scene on Louie Road shortly after 1 p.m.
Fire Chief Jason Layman and son Connor were first on scene and worked quickly to carry a woman, who was bound to a wheelchair with a injured knee, to safety.
“Our big thing was getting her out of the house before anything went sideways with the fire,” Layman said.
Dodie David was trying to do a favour for his girlfriend’s mother by clearing the thorny bush back from the home so that a plumber could gain access to the lower level.
“He didn’t want to come unless it was clear but I’ve got no tools,” David said.
Instead, he tried unsuccessfully to light a few pieces of cardboard to burn a pathway.
It only took less than 10 minutes for the fire to spread up the side of the house, destroying the vinyl siding.
“I had the water ready but it just went up too fast,” he said.
North Oyster firefighters sprayed water on the charred home before setting up a ladder to check the attic.
“It seems to be mostly on the exterior. It didn’t seem to make much ingress, so we’re just verifying there was no extension into the structure,” Layman said.