A fire that destroyed a vacant commercial building on Denman Island’s Northwest Road Tuesday is not considered suspicious, says Fire Chief Don Luckett.
The blaze broke out just after noon, shutting down what Luckett jokingly referred to as Denman’s “downtown core.”
The two-storey, 3,000-square-foot building was fully involved when volunteer firefighters arrived on the scene, said Luckett. Because the building was across from the community hall, the preschool and community school were evacuated.
“At no time were they under threat. This was just precautionary because of the fire,” Luckett said.
Five firefighters and a water tanker truck hopped the ferry from Hornby Island to assist the Denman Island firefighters.
Fanny Bay firefighters also arrived with a 2,000-gallon water tanker truck.
Lots of people came out to watch and helped firefighters by chasing embers tossed around by the wind.
“People were very helpful. We couldn’t do it without the help on the Island,” said Luckett, as he and the other firefighters ate pizza at the general store.
The fire may have started in a small kitchen, he said.
The fire crew was waiting for the arrival of an excavator to “dig it all up and put out all the hot spots,” said Luckett, noting the building had been used for a mail-order business, but had been up for sale for a long time.
“It was a long day but we have such a great crew of volunteers.”