A vehicle fire in the underground parkade of the Delta Rise in North Delta this week is raising a public safety reminder after Delta police prevented a motorist from driving over a fire department hose line.
Delta fire Chief Paul Schofield said the fire call came in just after 8 a.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 21 as a general alarm.
“When the first crew arrived on scene they could see smoke pouring out of the parkade vents, so they called for a first alarm and evacuated the building,” said Schofield. “Then they proceeding to try and find the fire as there was heavy smoke. They eventually located the fire down on the third level of the underground parkade. A car was fully involved, as well as heat damage to the one beside it.
“The sprinkler system kept the fire in check and so our crews were able to get to it quickly.”
He said there was fire apparatus and 17 firefighters on scene.
“Evacuation went well from the building. It had the potential to be a difficult event when you have that size of a building and a fire occurring underground. It turned out well in the end,” he said.
But while firefighters were working to find and attend to the fire, a motorist was stopped by Delta police officers just before they drove over a hose line.
“From what we understand the hydrant line was stretched across 80th St. and Delta police intercepted a car that was attempting to drive over the line during the middle of the firefighting efforts,” said Schofield. “This is very dangerous for our crews. Cars driving over the line can stop the flow of water getting to our trucks. It can also cut the line, which is not a good thing because that water source is our lifeline. The other issue is that line is under tremendous pressure and can break if someone drives over it and send couplings flying which could injury someone, so there are a multitude of reasons why this is not a good idea to drive over fire lines. It puts everyone at risk.”
Schofield said their focus is on fighting the fire and making sure people are evacuated and out of harms’ way.
“We don’t generally have someone who is policing the water lines, so it is really imperative that people recognize that they shouldn’t do that,” he said. “We’re really grateful that Delta police were on scene fast and managed that for us.”