Firefighters, North Cowichan personnel and ambulance attendants were all on scene at Croft Place for a gas leak incident from a tank near Sandpiper Gardens and Glass. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Gas leak prompts mop-up response in Chemainus

Thorough check made of Croft Place before residents and business people return

A strong smell of gasoline Monday morning around Sandpiper Gardens and Glass that penetrated into Croft Place prompted residents and business people to vacate the building until firefighters and North Cowichan officials could do a thorough check before they returned.

Martin Drakeley, North Cowichan’s manager of fire and bylaw services, stopped short of calling it an evacuation which would have resulted in an entirely different response.

The source of the leak was a gas tank at Sandpiper that had been drilled into during the early-morning hours Monday by a thief stealing gas.

Fuel drained onto the ground and got into the storm basin, according to Drakeley.

“We checked all the areas with gas detection equipment,” he said. “Everything was fine. It was just a strong smell.”

Public works members from North Cowichan were on the scene to flood the storm basin and dilute the fuel.

After more than an hour, “we’re doing one final pass through the buildings making sure we have no readings,” said Drakeley.

About 15 firefighters from the Chemainus and Crofton fire departments attended, as well as two members with operations of public works for North Cowichan and ambulance personnel.

Drakeley added public works would be making sure there’s no more fuel on the ground. If there is after a period of time, the Ministry of Environment would need to be contacted but Drakeley didn’t expect that to happen.

None of the residents or anyone in the vicinity was injured or suffered any severe consequences from the gas odour.

Harry Mose, a former Port Hardy mayor and president of the strata council for Croft Place who now lives in Nanaimo, was alerted about the incident and made the trip to Chemainus.

“One of my council members called me and said there was gas (smell) in the hallways,” he said. “It’s really strong, the second floor hallway. You can get light-headed in a hurry.”

There are three floors to the building. Businesses are on the ground floor, with six units on the second floor and two on the top. All residents home at the time were outside until given the ‘all clear.’

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


Chemainus Fire Department’s Paul Windsor updates Croft Place residents on the situation in the buiilding. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Chemainus Fire Department’s Paul Windsor converses with Crofton Fire Department’s Rick Smith behind Sandpiper Gardens and Glass about the gas leak situation. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Just Posted

Chemainus District Chamber of Commerce supports business relationships

Strong tradition within local communities continues

Vancouver firm awarded contract for North Cowichan’s OCP project

Comprehensive review and update being undertaken

Vehicle and welding machines recovered from theft at Geo-Tech Industries

Suspects still not identified from early Tuesday morning break-in at Crofton business

For the love of dogs and cats

Here’s the top 15 from photos you sent in for Valentine’s Day

Pipeline dispute: Tories put no-confidence motion on House of Commons agenda

Conservatives say they have no confidence in the Trudeau government to end the rail blockades

Province shows no interest in proposed highway between Alberta and B.C.

Province says it will instead focus on expanding the Kicking Horse Canyon to four lanes

Victoria police ask victims of human trafficking to come forward after Saskatchewan arrests

Four people from Vancouver Island were arrested in Saskatchewan on Jan. 28

First case of COVID-19 in B.C. has fully recovered, health officer says

Three other cases are symptom-free and expected to test negative soon

A&W employees in Ladysmith get all-inclusive vacation for 10 years of service

Kelly Frenchy, Katherine Aleck, and Muriel Jack are headed on all-expenses-paid vacations

Island wildlife rescue centre sees 9 poisoned birds since January

MARS trying to fundraise for ‘rigorous and expensive’ lead poisoning treatment

Via Rail lays off 1,000 employees temporarily as anti-pipeline blockades drag on

The Crown corporation has suspended passenger trains on its Montreal-Toronto and Ottawa-Toronto

Budget 2020: Weaver ‘delighted,’ minority B.C. NDP stable

Project spending soars along with B.C.’s capital debt

B.C. widow ‘crushed’ over stolen T-shirts meant for memorial blanket

Lori Roberts lost her fiancé one month ago Tuesday now she’s lost almost all she had left of him

Most Read