Victoria firefighting efforts hindered by tampered building water supply

Victoria firefighting efforts hindered by tampered building water supply
Victoria Firefighters Association/Instagram
Victoria firefighters on scene to douse a fire in a supportive housing building on Swift Street.

On Friday, Victoria firefighters were called to a supportive housing building to douse a fire and found the building’s water supply had been tampered with.

Around 7:30 p.m., Engine 3 was called to 467 Swift Street for alarm bells and found water coming from a third-floor room.

When the crews were able to enter the unit, they were met with heavy smoke and saw flames at the back of the room.

At this point the acting captain upgraded the incident to a structure fire and dispatched Battalion 1, Ladder 1, Engine 1, Rescue 1, Engine 2, and Squad 2 to help fight the fire.

When crews went to connect to the standpipes, or the building’s water supply, they appeared to be tampered with. Crews then had to use water from the fire truck.

“It certainly did impede suppression efforts as we had to change tactics and drag a 2.5” hose to the start of the rear stairwell,” Acting Captain Matt Phillips said in an Instagram post by the Victoria Firefighters Association. “Additionally, because of the delay, the sprinklers remained on in the suite, and the water damage to the building couldn’t be stopped as quickly.”

There were also multiple tenants on the third floor with mobility issues who firefighters helped to evacuate.

The fire was able to be extinguished, and two people had to be taken to the hospital for smoke inhalation.

The Fire Prevention team is now tasked with following up about the standpipe.


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