Van bursts into flames

June 15, 2017

Let me tell you, there are no shortage of vans on the Gulf Islands. Leftovers from the Flower Power, Hippy Days of the ’60s. Probably more per capita than anywhere else in Canada and maybe even in the world.  Not surprising that one spontaneously bursts in to flames now and then:

Gulf Islands Driftwood — Penders Island Edition

August 9, 2000

Van bursts into flames

by Tanya Lester

John Miles was in the computer room above his store when he heard what he first thought was wind followed by the crackling of flames last Wednesday at about 9:15 a.m.

The Southridge Farms Country Store owner rushed down the stairs, saw smoke and then witnessed huge flames engulfing the Volkswagon camper van of an employee.

“It spontaneously combusted.”

Miles called 911 and then went to remove the family’s two dogs from their house as he feared it would catch fire, too. He moved his own van to make room for the fire trucks.

Miles has acting fire chief Charlie Boyte and his crew to thank for arriving quickly and extinguishing the van fire with foam. The firefighters then wet down the side of the house with water, which prevented it from catching fire.

A nearby tree was scorched badly but Miles credits rain the day before for preventing it from being set alight.

“Everything worked in our favour,” he said.

RCMP Corporal Don Smawley said the fire was ruled accidental with no foul play suspected.

Victims Services is affiliated with the RCMP and responds to requests from Smawley to assist in matters including robbery, spousal abuse and traffic accidents.

Smawley pointed out that in a smaller community they are sometimes asked to support victims of fire as well.


To read more posts on this blog of published work on a wide variety of topics, go to and

Tanya’s books are Confessions of a Tea Leaf Reader and Friends I Never Knew available for purchase on amazon or from the author as well as Dreams and Tricksters besides Women Rights/Writes. All of these books are available at some public libraries.

Tanya is a psychic reader with over 20 years experience. To get a tea leaf reading, tarot , psychic channeling or Russian gypsy card reading, text or call her at 250-5528-0086 or via Facebook or email: Her web site is at and she also has pages on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Google. She is also a reiki master and a fulltime housesitter.





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