Firefighters in Sidney are investigating after a believed electrical fire ravaged a basement suite over the weekend, causing “quite significant” damage.

On Sunday at around 2 p.m., Sidney Volunteer Fire Department Chief Brett Mikkelsen says crews were called to the home on McDonald Park Road, steps away from a Peninsula Co-op gas station.

“When we arrived, the fire was definitely involved,” Mikkelsen told Victoria Buzz. “We had numerous reports of flames showing from the basement itself.”

According to Mikkelsen, he was first on scene.

“When I got there, everyone had exited,” he explains. “So we had reports of no one inside the structure and no pets—which is what a first arriving officer wants to hear.”

Still, two people were sent to hospital for cautionary reasons due to smoke inhalation, according to Mikkelsen.

He’s now pointing to the importance of having working smoke detectors because, in this case, they notified residents of the fire.

In fact, the fire chief is crediting them for their quick escape.

He’s also thanking nearby neighbours, including a gas station attendant, who helped mitigate the flames by spraying water through a broken basement window.

“They bought us a little bit of time and allowed us to make our way in, extinguish the fire and keep the fire largely contained to the suite of origin,” he said.

“That was definitely advantageous to us.”

Mikkelsen notes that all three fire departments on the Saanich Peninsula are simultaneously dispatched to structure fires.

“We’re very fortunate that not only resources from Sidney but also North Saanich and Central Saanich attended,” he added. 

“That gives us lots of firepower to combat these things, which we wouldn’t have if we were doing it alone.”

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