“We are not exactly sure what happened yet. It’s still in the investigation stage,” said Pender Island Fire Chief Charlie Boyte.
All vehicle and structure fires are investigated to try to establish the origin, he said.
“The preliminary investigation didn’t turn up an obviously accidental cause,” Boyte said. “That doesn’t mean it wasn’t accidental, but there wasn’t something like a heater going that could have caused it and that always leads to more thorough investigation.”
The nine-metre trailer, parked on a Schooner Way acreage where McPhee is building a house, was not occupied at the time of the fire but did contain construction tools.
“It’s fairly heavily damaged at the front and there is smoke damage throughout,” Boyte said.
McPhee and Bill Simons have staked mineral claims on large areas of private property on Pender Island, something that has alarmed many property owners.
The free miners have not said what minerals they plan to mine.
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