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Sooke structure fire dealt with quickly

Wednesday May 3, 2023 | SOOKE, BC [Updated May 5, 2023]

by Mary P Brooke | Island Social Trends

Also see: Aftermath photos taken May 4, 2023

The fire is now out. Here’s what happened last night in Sooke.

At approximately 8:55 pm on Tuesday May 2 Sooke Fire Rescue along with mutual aid partners including Otter Point Fire, Metchosin Fire and East Sooke Fire were dispatched to a structure fire at a construction site on Steeple Chase in Sooke.

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Steeple Chase is in the Charter Road / Churchill Drive residential area of Sooke. During the active fire, people were asked to avoid Churchill Drive, Noblewood Place and Steeple Chase. Some homes nearby incurred some damage due to the heat and force of the fire such as melted siding and broken windows.

Upon arriving at the scene, firefighters found that four structures at the construction site were fully engulfed.

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House construction site in active nighttime blaze, May 2, 2023. [WJ Valk]/ Twitter

“Public safety and minimizing damage to the nearby occupied residents was our priority,” Sooke Fire Chief Ted Ruiter said. “Thank you to our dedicated team and mutual aid partners for their quick response, and to the community for their support and cooperation.”

Some people gathered outside on streets not too far away — including Rhodonite Drive — to watch the flames from afar, said one area resident.

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Steeple Chase in the Church Road residential area of Sooke. [Google map]

Approximately 30 firefighters and 10 apparatuses including utility and medic vehicles tended to the scene, as well as Sooke RCMP, BC Ambulance and Fortis BC, says the District of Sooke today. Occupied residents nearby were evacuated temporarily.

The community also rallied. Neighbours supported each other to ensure one another’s safety, the District said.


The fire was under control by 9:50 pm with crews remaining on site managing hot spots and spot fires. Crews will remain on site throughout the day. 

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

Those experiencing property damage should contact their insurance providers.

“Thank you doesn’t seem to suffice. My heartfelt gratitude goes out to our first responders including Sooke Fire and our mutual aid partners, Sooke RCMP and BC Ambulance and your families,” said Mayor Maja Tait in a news release today. “The quick action of our emergency response teams prevented something that could have been a truly catastrophic event.”

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Mary Brooke, editor, West Shore Voice News
Mary P Brooke, Editor and Publisher, Island Social Trends.

Mary P Brooke is the editor and publisher of Island Social Trends as published daily at islandsocialtrends.ca.

Mary Brooke has been covering politics, business, education and communities through a socioeconomic lens since 2008 on south Vancouver Island (previously with the print editions of West Shore Voice News, and before that both Sooke Voice News and MapleLine Magazine, before launching the fully online news portal Island Social Trends in mid-2020).

Ms Brooke followed and wrote extensively about the COVID pandemic during 2020-2022, and continues to follow the topic as new developments arise. She has covered Sooke School District 62 (SD62) board and committee meetings in-depth since 2014. Mary P Brooke was a trustee candidate in the SD62 Belmont Zone in October 2022. She now reports on provincial news with the BC Legislative Press Gallery.