Second driver in 24 hours runs over hose at active fire
Published Saturday, January 13, 2018 12:55PM PST
Two people drove over fire hoses at two different active fires in Metro Vancouver on Friday, and fire officials are warning the public that the behaviour endangers the safety of first responders.
While fire crews were working to contain a blaze near the University of British Columbia Friday night, a man in a BMW intentionally backed over one of their hoses, despite being warned it was dangerous and illegal.
"It is troubling … Our supply lines in particular are very important to the crews that are in harm's way trying to extinguish the fire," assistant chief Sheldon Young told CTV News.
The fire was already difficult to attack because it was nearly 200 metres down a steep, unstable rock slope. Crews had to run hoses across the street and into the treed area to access it.
Hours earlier, Burnaby firefighters trying to save a heritage building from burning also had hoses running across the road.
Again, a driver decided to roll right over those.
"If there're people in the building and you run over the hose, we lose our water supply," said assistant chief Barry Mawhinney. "You're putting people's lives in danger."
These two incidents bring the total number of drivers rolling over fire hoses in January to three.
On Jan. 2, a firefighter was seriously injured when a suspected impaired driver drove over a hose during a blaze on East Hastings Street.
"When the motor vehicle ran over the hose, the hose came out and swept him right off his feet so it is a lower body injury," said deputy chief Brian Godlonton. "It's down to one particular leg but extensive damage has been done."
The firefighter is still receiving medical care and will likely be off work for a very long time.
Under the B.C. Motor Vehicle Act, the fine for driving over a fire hose is $81. Some firefighters would like to see that fine increased.
"Considering the amount of risk that's put on all first responders… it's clearly not enough," Godlonton said.
With a report from CTV's Ben Miljure