A North Cowichan man is dead and his mother is in hospital after fire tore through a property on Hall Road on Tuesday night.
According to a GoFundMe page launched on Wednesday afternoon, Nate Haslam died in the fire, and his mother, Rebecca, suffered a heart attack. The pair lived in separate dwellings on the property.
Rebecca noticed that Nate’s house was on fire around 10 p.m. on Tuesday and called 9-1-1.
“They directed her to leave the property,” the GoFundMe page reads. “The devastation of losing her only child caused her to have a heart attack.
According to the page, Rebecca is being monitored at the Cowichan District Hospital. She is on long-term disability after a battle with lung cancer, and worked for several years at various health care facilities in the Cowichan Valley. The GoFundMe page can be found at gofund.me/108b41dd
The fire occurred at the intersection of Hall Road and Sprott Road, just southwest of North Cowichan’s municipal headquarters. South End and Maple Bay firefighters were called out around 10:15 p.m., and Crofton and Chemainus were called for assistance as soon as the first crews arrived on the scene. Paramedics, Fortis, Hydro, and RCMP were also notified.
Crews worked to contain the fire to the structure, and were able to keep it from spreading to the dry brush and trees in the area.
Several small explosions could be heard as the fire engulfed the structure. Firefighters confirmed there were multiple propane tanks in the area. A neighbour, one of several who called 9-1-1, also said the residents of the property included seniors and one of them was trying to extinguish the flames with a garden hose before it became too much to handle.