Vancouver's assistant fire chief says harsher penalties could help stop motorists from driving over fire hoses, a practice he says puts the well-being of firefighters and those they're trying to help at risk.

"Perhaps if the fines were increased in size, it may (act as) a greater deterrent for drivers that may be wishing to drive over a fire hose," David Boone told CTV News Friday.

The firefighter's remarks come a day after a Lexus driver burst a high-pressure hose as crews battled a massive blaze at a printing business in East Vancouver.

The man drove under caution tape and ran over a supply hose worth about $1,000, causing a slit that sent water shooting into the air and cut off the supply to crews trying to get the fire at Metropolitan Fine Printers under control.

Fire Capt. Jonathan Gormick said the man appeared to be trying to flee the scene by driving away, but firefighters blocked the vehicle.

The man then got out of his car, pushing a CTV News cameraperson who was recording the aftermath. He took a child out of the vehicle and walked away from the scene.

The driver will face the current fine for running over a water supply of $81 and two demerit points. That penalty applies regardless of whether it leads to injury or hampers crews' efforts to knock down a blaze.

A number of other fines could also apply, under different circumstances. A driver could pay $196 for failing to obey a flagger and $167 for going against the instructions of a school crossing guard.

Those who don't slow down and move over for emergency vehicles could face a $173 fine.

Boone wouldn't comment on how much higher he thinks the penalty should be, but said damaging or cutting off a water supply can have serious consequences for firefighters, those they're trying to help and the structures they're working to save.

"There was luckily no one inside the structure yesterday. However, it's activity that's of quite concern to us," Boone said, adding that it can be deadly for firefighters inside a burning building and others trapped inside.

At the very least, he added, a damaged hose costs firefighters precious minutes as they work the minimize damage to a burning structure and stop the flames from spreading.

No one was injured Thursday morning, and firefighters believe the hose might be salvageable, but similar incidents have not been as benign.

In January, a suspected drunk driver ran over a fire hose and dragged it partway down Hastings Street, knocking over a crew member who was left with extensive lower body injuries.

That first responder has not been able to return to work since.

"That's a perfect example of what can happen when someone does drive over a fire hose and it certainly puts our members in great danger," Boone said.

In his 25 years a firefighter, he added, the problem is now worse than ever.

"I think that people should be paying more due care and attention and respecting what the Motor Vehicle Act states, which is of course to stay clear of the fire scene and obviously not drive over the fire hose unless directed to do so by fire personnel," he said.

"Our messages to drivers are to approach any emergency scene…with caution and to stay clear and to follow the direction fire personnel."

On Friday, the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure told CTV News it's open to hearing recommendations from first responders on changing the penalties.

"Driving over a fire hose is a dangerous and illegal offence," it said in statement. "The ministry would engage with the BC Association of Chiefs of Police and the BC Fire Commissioner’s Office to seek their advice regarding the fine level."

Meanwhile, Boone said the department has also filed a report with the province's public auto insurer which could cause the Lexus driver's premium to go up.

With files from CTV Vancouver's Allison Hurst