A Sooke firefighter was in Victoria General Hospital after being injured at a blaze that destroyed a vacant commercial building early Wednesday.
Sooke interim Fire Chief Cam Norris-Jones said the firefighter suffered muscular-skeletal injuries while tackling flames that ripped through the former Mulligan’s Bar and Grill Building at 2197 Otter Point Road.
The fire, reported about 5:30 a.m. by a passerby, was deemed suspicious. Its cause was unknown.
Norris-Jones said power and gas connections to the site had been disconnected for several months, the property was fenced off and the building was slated to be torn down.
“There were no services, no furniture … it was completely empty, so we are treating it as suspicious in nature,” Norris-Jones said.
Otter Point Volunteer Fire Department and Metchosin Fire Department assisted in fighting the fire.
A road closure along the 2100 block of Otter Point was in place as the building was demolished and a ladder truck used the hydrant across the road.
An adjacent building, about three metres from the fire, had been protected, said Norris-Jones.
The building where the fire happened had previously been used as a fitness club and, most recently, was a temporary homeless shelter, the residents of which had been moved to another facility several months ago, Norris-Jones said.
GT Mann, developer of the property, started demolishing the gutted building on Wednesday afternoon.
“It’s not a safe building to remain standing,” said Norris-Jones.
GT Mann has proposed two three-storey rental commercial buildings on the site.