'Like a rocket-propelled flame thrower': Investigators search for cause of View Royal fire
VICTORIA -- Fire investigators from View Royal and WorkSafeBC are still investigating the cause of a fire at the Big O Tire shop in View Royal on Tuesday.
Don Swindell, the owner of the tire shop, says a fuel pump was being replaced on a car when a fuel tank caught fire, which then set an employee’s pants on fire.
Swindell says he ran into the garage with only his shirt to put out the fire on the employee's pants.
“Yeah, it’s not easy to run into flames on the ground, fuel tank on fire and see an employee on fire," he says. "How do you put this person out? And all I had was my shirt.”
Once the flames were out Swindell, says he got the two of them out of the garage.
“The fuel tank was like a rocket-propelled flame thrower,” he says.
Fire crews were fast on scene but the damage the to the garage is significant and the shop will be closed for some time, leaving six employees without work.
The employee that Swindell helped out of the garage received second- and third-degree burns to his leg but is home from the hospital and resting.
A young couple from England who have been living in B.C. since October had brought in the van they had been living out of for service. The van and all their belongings were lost in the fire.
“Rolled the van in yesterday, came back 45 minutes later to find the whole mechanic has set on fire, along with my van, my home, my belongings, everything I brought here,” said Rob Pearce on Wednesday.
Not having a place to stay for the night, a local woman invited the couple into her home and started GoFundMe page for them. It has since raised over $9,600, which along with the random gifts and essentials offered to them, has overwhelmed the couple.
“We’re not even residents of this country and people want to hear our story and want to help out," said Pearce. "It’s nice to see. This doesn’t happen in England."