Massive early-morning blaze destroys building, home in Coombs

Fire, ambulance and other emergency personnel were on hand dealing with an early-morning fire in Coombs on Jan. 3, 2021. (Peter McCully photo)Fire, ambulance and other emergency personnel were on hand dealing with an early-morning fire in Coombs on Jan. 3, 2021. (Peter McCully photo)
The facade of a Coombs building that caught fire early Jan. 3, 2021. The damage was extensive. (Michael Briones photo)The facade of a Coombs building that caught fire early Jan. 3, 2021. The damage was extensive. (Michael Briones photo)
The aftermath of a fire in Coombs early Jan. 3, 2021. (Michael Briones photo)The aftermath of a fire in Coombs early Jan. 3, 2021. (Michael Briones photo)
Fire crews use high ladder to help douse the flames on a building that caught fire in Coombs early on Jan. 3, 2021. (Peter McCully photo)Fire crews use high ladder to help douse the flames on a building that caught fire in Coombs early on Jan. 3, 2021. (Peter McCully photo)
Fire, ambulance and other emergency personnel were on hand dealing with an early-morning fire in Coombs on Jan. 3, 2021. (Peter McCully photo)Fire, ambulance and other emergency personnel were on hand dealing with an early-morning fire in Coombs on Jan. 3, 2021. (Peter McCully photo)

No injuries were reported after a massive early-morning blaze lit up the dark sky Sunday (Jan. 3) in Coombs.

Coombs Hilliers Volunteer Fire Department attended the blaze, arriving on-scene at approximately 2 a.m. Other detachments from Deep Bay to Lantzville also responded to the scene. One firefighter on-scene said flames climbed to almost 100 feet in the air at one point.

Incident commander Capt. Brad Cornish said there was fire coming out on the side of the structure when they arrived.

The building, formerly the Sanctuary of the Rastafarian Order church, is located between Station Road and Ford Road along Alberni Highway. There was nobody inside the building.

A residential home behind the property also caught fire. Two residents were able to leave the house safely.

“It was a heavy fire load and it went up fast,” Cornish said.

READ MORE: Parksville hotel evacuated after third-floor fire

The high flames created a challenging situation for the firefighters.

“We got no hydrants out here so the big thing was water supply, keeping water flowing,” said Cornish. “I needed to call other neighbouring departments from Lantzville to Bow Horn Bay to assist us with water, shuttling manpower and other stuff.”

There was a danger of the fire spreading to other buildings nearby but Cornish said that they were able to place some crews between the buildings to monitor exposures.

“The crews did an awesome job from keeping it from spreading,” said Cornish.

The building and home suffered extensive damages and are likely to be written off, said Cornish.

Fire crews were still at the scene near noon, dealing with hot spots and any smouldering debris. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

Michael.Briones@pqbnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter 

CoombsParksvillequalicum beach

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

West Coast General Hospital in Port Alberni received some good news about an expansion to its emergency department on Jan. 15, 2021. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)
B.C. health ministry commits $6.25M to hospital expansion in Port Alberni

Plans for larger emergency department have been on hold since 2015

A Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation guardian took this photo of dozens of vehicles parked along a forest service road in the Kennedy watershed. (Submitted photo)
Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District looks at enforcement of illegal camping

ACRD currently does not have an existing bylaw service to tackle the issue

Randy Brown, owner of Wintergreen Apartments on Fourth Avenue, has five trailers and a motorhome at the back of his property that he is renting to people who had been previously homeless. He wants to put 15 trailers on his property, hooked up to city sewer and water and BC Hydro. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)
Building owner digs in heels, refuses to remove illegal trailers from property

Port Alberni council gives owner two-week reprieve on remediation orders

A photo of the excavated area at McLean Mill at the end of the rail line, taken on Dec. 16, 2020. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)
No environmental risk from oil spill at McLean Mill, says consultant

Terrawest Environmental concludes ‘end of spill’ report at national historic site

Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry head for the press theatre at the B.C. legislature for an update on COVID-19, Jan. 7, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 spread steady with 509 new cases Friday

Hospitalized and critical care cases decline, nine deaths

A still from surveillance footage showing a confrontation in the entranceway at Dolly’s Gym on Nicol Street on Friday morning. (Image submitted)
Troublemaker in Nanaimo fails at fraud attempt, slams door on business owner’s foot

VIDEO: Suspect causes pain and damage in incident downtown Friday morning

Seasonal influenza vaccine is administered starting each fall in B.C. and around the world. (Langley Advance Times)
After 30,000 tests, influenza virually nowhere to be found in B.C.

COVID-19 precautions have eliminated seasonal infection

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau listens to a question during a news conference outside Rideau cottage in Ottawa, Friday, January 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau says Canada’s COVID vaccine plan on track despite Pfizer cutting back deliveries

Canadian officials say country will still likely receive four million doses by the end of March

Jobs Minister Ravi Kahlon shared a handwritten note his son received on Jan. 13, 2021. (Ravi Kahlon/Twitter)
Proud dad moment: B.C. minister’s son, 10, receives handwritten note for act of kindness

North Delta MLA took to Twitter to share a letter his son received from a new kid at school

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Lilly and Poppy, two cats owned by Kalmar Cat Hotel ownder Donna Goodenough, both have cerebellAr hypoplasia, a genetic neurological condition that affects their ability to control their muscles and bones. Photo by Alistair Taylor – Campbell River Mirror
VIDEO: Wobbly Cats a riot of flailing legs and paws but bundles of love and joy to their owner

Woman urges others to not fear adopting cats with disabilities

Dr. Shannon Waters, the medical health officer for the Cowichan Valley Region, is reminding people to stay the course with COVID-19 measures. (File photo)
‘Stay the course’ with COVID measures, Island Health reminds

Limit social activity, wash hands, wear a mask, and isolate if you feel sick

Cowichan Tribes members line up at a drive-up clinic on Wednesday, Jan. 13 to receive the first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine in the region. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
BCAFN condems racism against Cowichan Tribes after COVID-19 outbreak

“Any one of us could do everything right and still catch the virus”: Regional Chief Terry Teegee.

Most Read