Nanaimo fire response hindered after driver runs over hose

Nanaimo fire response hindered after driver runs over hose

Nanaimo fire crews were actively responding to a house fire that caused extensive damage when someone drove over a fire hose.

David Dales, an assistant chief of operations with Nanaimo Fire Rescue, says crews were called to a house fire on Sarum Rise Way around 12:30 p.m.

“Our first-in engine arrived and saw quite extensive smoke from half a block away,” Dales told CHEK News in a phone interview. “They could see visible flame at the rear of the house that extended into the walls and into the attic space.”

Dales said the fire started outside and is estimated to have been burning for about an hour and a half before it extended into the house, and set off the fire alarms, alerting the occupants.

The occupants were able to get out with no injuries.

“Some lovely neighbors took the elderly people into their house and it just showed some community spirit,” Dales said.

The fire caused “extensive” damage to the attic, and the cause has not yet been determined but Dales said it may have been due to frozen pipes.

While crews were responding to the fire, efforts were impeded after a driver ran over a hose.

“Unfortunately, somebody disobeyed our traffic cones and they drove over our fire hose, which the RCMP wrote two tickets for, I believe, and potentially they damaged one of our fire hoses,” Dales said.

Dales says driving over a fire hose can not only damage the hose, but also potentially the fire trucks which “can take months to repair.”

“But more importantly the hose the water from the hydrant to the truck is needed, and we can’t have firefighters inside of a house doing rescue mode if we have no water,” Dales said. “So extremely complicates things. And all we ask for is just a little bit of patience. And the driver willfully drove over our hose.”

In this situation firefighters weren’t needed to go into the house to rescue someone, but Dales said crews can be prevented from doing that if it was needed and someone had driven over a hose.

During a fire, there will not be crews in the road directing traffic, as firefighters are needed to be responding to the fire. Instead there will be traffic cones. Even if there is no one directing traffic, it is not safe or permitted to drive over a fire hose.

CHEK News has reached out to Nanaimo RCMP for more information about the tickets issued to the driver.

Laura BroughamLaura Brougham

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