Enormous blaze torches golf cart storage facility at Mount Brenton Golf Club in Chemainus

Several concerns for firefighters upon arrival with the conditions, severity of fire

A wall of flame, accompanied by huge plumes of thick, black smoke that soared into the sky and could be seen for miles, torched a golf cart storage facility at the Mount Brenton Golf Club in Chemainus Wednesday afternoon.

Needless to say, it was “fully involved,” Chemainus Fire Department Chief Al Irwin said when his crews arrived, with assistance from the Crofton and Ladysmith departments.

The enormity of the fire created several concerns for firefighters before tackling it.

“I’m not sure what’s in there for timbers,” noted Irwin.

“Lots of plastic in there and stuff,” he added.

On top of that, the carts themselves were a mixture of electric and gas, and the hydro wasn’t even shut off, Irwin noted, as firemen began their assault on the blaze.

Tires on the carts could be heard popping amid the loud crackle of the fire.

“We were initially a little concerned about the houses on the other side of the road as well,” Irwin added.

And then there were the numerous trees surrounding the facility. Some upper branches caught fire but, fortunately, conditions are not yet that dry, so the Ladysmith ladder truck, stationed on the side of the Henry Road hill, pumped water to put out the hotspots.

Firemen brought the entire situation down from an inferno to a smoldering rubble rather quickly, considering the conditions.

“We got some wind today, it doesn’t help,” reasoned Irwin.

The time of day, with the call coming in at 3:48 p.m., left the Chemainus department without a full complement of personnel. About 20 Chemainus firefighters attended, and Irwin and deputy chief Kevin Millard just got back from an ammonia course in Duncan when the call went out.

There’s plenty of speculation about the cause, from the battery chargers used for the karts to the gas that powers some of the vehicles to sparks in the back corner of the building from the hydro. But it’s so badly burned, the cause will probably never be definitely determined, Irwin indicated, and an excavator was brought in to level the remnants of the building.

“It’s the only way to take it apart,” Irwin explained at the scene. “We can’t go in. It’s too unsafe.”

No one was inside the facility at the time and there were no injuries to anyone in the vicinity or the firemen.

Some nearby cars were parked in harm’s way, but managed to elude any extensive damage.

Hordes of people gathered in the vicinity to take pictures or document the scene on video, but Irwin was pleased everyone steered clear.

“We haven’t had that much attention for a while,” he said. “Everybody was really good.”

Frequent calls are keeping the Chemainus department on its toes.

“We have been so busy since November,” noted Irwin.

That’s included two other major fires at a house on Waynes Road in December and the Jones Marine fire on the Chemainus waterfront earlier this year.

 

Massive amounts of flame and smoke burst out from kart storage facility. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Massive amounts of flame and smoke burst out from kart storage facility. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Massive amounts of flame and smoke burst out from kart storage facility. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Massive amounts of flame and smoke burst out from kart storage facility. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Just Posted

SAR scaling back in Kilmer search, but friends will keep looking

Search for 41-year-old Cobble Hill dad hits six-day mark

Friends and family playing huge role in Kilmer search

Volunteers from the public join forces with SAR crews

Is Steve Nash Vancouver Island’s best athlete of all-time?

As Captain Canada gets ready to enter basketball’s Hall of Fame it’s time to debate his legacy

Who is Vancouver Island’s greatest athlete ever?

We want to know, you get to choose in a 64-athlete tournament bracket

People 55+ invited to try out three sports

Free session June 1 at Fuller Lake Arena

VIDEO: After the floods, comes the cleanup as Grand Forks rebuilds

Business owners in downtown wonder how long it will take for things to go back to normal

Rachel Notley to skip premiers conference to focus on pipeline deal

Kinder Morgan has ceased all non-essential spending on the Trans Mountain pipeline project until it receives assurances

B.C. tech company will power Uber Elevate

Moli and Uber announce research and development partnership.

Olympian sues USA Swimming, saying it failed to protect her

Ariana Kukors Smith alleges her former coach Sean Hutchison began grooming her for sexual abuse at the age of 13

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

Defence minister thanks troops for B.C. flood relief work

Harjit Sajjan says not only was military response quick, support from locals has been ‘tremendous’

Still no sign of missing father in Cowichan Valley

Search group for Ben Kilmer now stands 40 SAR volunteers and another 100 friends and concerned community members

Couple survives being buried in mudslide on B.C. highway

The couple, from Saskatchewan, were en route to Nelson when a tree fell in their path

INTERACTIVE MAP: Follow the 2017 Tour de Rock

Follow the Tour de Rock, as they pedal more than 1,000 kilometres fundraising to combat paediatric cancer

Most Read