A Times Colonist delivery driver became a temporary firefighter early Friday morning, extinguishing flames on a sign that had been set alight on the side of a Duncan restaurant.
Vince Cocoroch, who has delivered the newspaper since 1997, was driving through Duncan when he spotted the fire on the side of the Green Leaf Bistro about 2 a.m.
Cocoroch phoned 911 to report the fire because the flames were starting to spread from the plastic sign to the structure itself.
“I didn’t know if I would be able to put it out or not. I know they have to call their guys and it takes a little while before they get there,” said Cocoroch.
After making the emergency call, he grabbed a rag and started beating out the flames.
“I got a little burned from it,” he said.
“When I was pounding on the fire, the plastic sign was splattering.”
Video of the fire was captured by the dash cam on Cocoroch’s delivery truck. Appropriately, it's titled Right Place - Right Time.
Cocoroch extinguished the fire and continued on his way. Duncan firefighters arrived at the scene shortly after to make sure it was well and truly out.
The delivery driver said he keeps his eyes open on his nightly run from Victoria to pick up newspapers at a Ladysmith printing plant. “They have a lot of problems up there in Duncan with arsons and theft and vandalism. When you drive around, you see a lot of dumpsters have been torched.”
On Friday, Cocoroch said he didn’t do anything special. “I think most people would do the same thing. I’m not quite a hero. A little bit short of that. Maybe a Good Samaritan,” he said.
In April 2018, he spotted another fire in a house at Canada Avenue and First Avenue in Duncan. “I wasn’t able to put it out. It was going too strong. But I called it in.”
Because of his prompt action, firefighters were able to save the building.
He also captured that blaze on video: