A Comox gas station has been reduced to rubble after a vehicle crashed into a fuel pump early Saturday evening causing a massive fire.
The incident occurred at around 7 p.m. at the Esso on Anderton Road.
An elderly person drove their vehicle into one of the pumps, which caused a spark that ultimately turned into a flame and spread from the pump, to the car, then to the convenience store and restaurant.
Miraculously, the driver escaped with minor injuries. One other person, believed to be a gas station attendant, was also hospitalized with minor injuries after they pulled the driver and dog from the burning vehicle.
According to authorities, the fire consumed the structure within minutes. Nearly three dozen fire fighters from Comox, Courtenay and Cumberland battled the blaze.
Amidst the risk of further explosions and the billowing thick smoke emanating from the Esso gas station, which is also home to the popular Garlic & Pepper Eatery, nearby apartment buildings were swiftly evacuated.
Those evacuated were allowed to return after a few hours.
Mayor Nicole Minions of Comox expressed her deep appreciation to the Comox Fire Department for their swift response to the fire. She also extended her gratitude to the Courtenay Fire Department, Cumberland Fire Department, and RCMP detachment for assisting with the incident.
“Sending the small business owners our thoughts and community support this evening and into the future,” she added.