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Wildwood fire destroys barn and workshop building

Chickens die in Powell River neighbourhood blaze
BIG BLAZE: Powell River firefighters responded to a fire in Wildwood early Saturday morning that destroyed a barn and workshop. Contributed photo

A fire in Wildwood early Saturday morning resulted in the loss of a barn structure and the deaths of a number of chickens.

The fire was reported at 1:44 am in the 6600 block of McMahon Avenue in Wildwood. Powell River Fire Rescue responded with about 20 to 25 firefighters and three rigs from the Wildwood and Westview fire halls. Swanson said it was a quick response.

“This was a very large barn and workshop and sadly, animals died,” said deputy fire chief Rocky Swanson. He said chickens were lost in the blaze.

Swanson said the fire department spent more than three hours knocking down the fire and were on scene for four hours.

“When we arrived, the fire was massive and the smoke was extremely thick so firefighter safety had to be closely watched,” said Swanson. “I had serious concerns the barn was going to collapse so we kept all crews outside of the structure. Going into the interior was an absolute no. Massive solid steel beams were bending from the heat.”

There were no injuries reported in the incident.

Water pressure was an issue, with the fire department maxing out the capacity of the hydrants.

“There’s nothing wrong with the water supply, it’s just that a fire of that size requires more than most systems can provide in the rural location,” said Swanson.

He said the owners of the property were out of town at the time of the fire.

The structure is likely ruined, said Swanson. He believes the barn and workshop were fully involved by the time the fire was noticed.

“It had likely been going for about an hour before it was noticed but that will come out in the investigation,” said Swanson.

Live power lines came down as a result of the fire but BC Hydro was on scene very quickly to deal with the problem.

Cause of the fire is not known at this time.

“This one is going to take some work to figure out, but we will,” said Swanson.