Two houses burned in Hooterville fire

  • Sep. 22, 2010 10:00 a.m.

By Heather Ramsay-A fire in the early morning hours of Sept. 17 completely destroyed one house and left another severely damaged in the Hooterville neighbourhood of Queen Charlotte. Fire chief Larry Duke said the fire department received a call at 4:15 am and was on the scene by 4:20 am where they found one building “fully involved.” “The structure collapsed as we arrived,” he said, noting that it had been burning for some time. In total, 14 members responded, he said. Their immediate concern was to protect the adjacent home, but the fire leapt from one building to the other. The second building was damaged to the point that it is not safe to inhabit anymore. There were no injuries. Rod Pineault lives in the house that burnt to the ground, but he was not at home or even on the islands at the time of the fire. The house next door was built by Bill Walker and known as the Pallet Palace, since the structure was made out of 120 pallets. Mr. Walker was not at home at the time of the fire, but his brother Cecil was. Mr. Walker said that Cecil heard an explosion before becoming aware of the fire next door. Mr. Walker was told that others in the area had heard several explosions around the time the fire started. The fire department was on the scene until 8:20 am, but returned throughout the day as hot spots flared up at both building sites. Mr. Duke said the remaining building was too dangerous to enter, so the firemen had the challenge of trying to extinguish the fire from the outside. The whole area has been blocked off, said Mr. Duke as there are all sorts of hazards around. He said the fire department has no idea what started the fire and there doesn’t appear to be any indication of foul play.”But we treat all fires as suspicious,” he said. The department could bring in the fire commissioner’s office to investigate, but so far has not initiated this action. Mr. Walker said he lost most of his possessions including eight computers, his documents, certificates and identification and Eric Clapton’s first guitar.