An excavator stands at the ready outside the gutted home of the Janzen family on Llanberis Way Monday afternoon. Investigators have confirmed three bodies were removed from the home

Agassiz Fire Department Month of May in Review: Stuck elevators, MVAs and more

Busy month for Agassiz department, including assistance to house in Popkum that exploded in early May

The Agassiz Fire Department (AFD) responded to 28 calls for assistance along with 10 training sessions in May.

The month began with firefighters responding to a motor vehicle accident on Hot Springs Rd on May 1. Crews assisted BC Ambulance service with two lift assists on May 6 and May 17. Agassiz fire was called for mutual aid to assist the Popkum Fire Department on May 7 for a residential structure fire. Agassiz sent 9 firefighters with an Engine and Air Squad response. Crews were called to the report of wires down on Lougheed Hwy on May 10.

May 11 saw fire crews assisting the BC Ambulance Service with the setup of a landing zone for the medi-vac helicopter. Fire Departments are often used province wide to assist with landing zones, to ensure a safe area is secured without having to take the paramedics away from their primary care role with the patient. In this incident the helicopter was used for rapid transport of a child to Vancouver Children’s hospital to receive the specialized care required. May 15 had the AFD attend a commercial alarm at Rimex Supply Ltd. Upon arriving on scene it was discovered there had been a fire in the exhaust ducting of the paint spray booth which in turn activated the automatic fire suppression system that extinguished the small fire. May 16 had crews attend a single vehicle accident on the East Harrison Forest Service Rd. The pagers were going again on May 21, as crews attended a motor vehicle accident on Hot Springs Rd. May 23 the AFD attended a residential alarm. Agassiz fire attended a 2 vehicle motor vehicle accident at the “Tea Cup” intersection on May 25. The AFD technical rescue team was called into action to free the lone occupant stuck in an elevator at Woodside Terrace apartments on May 27. Upon arrival on scene the firefighters safely removed the unhurt female and her laundry basket from the elevator.

May 30 saw Agassiz fire crews responding to a commercial structure fire in the 7000 block of Cheam Ave. Initial scene size up determined that the fire was contained to the outside of the building in some brush and small trees. It was determined that the trees had come into contact with the hydro service lines to the business causing the 3 phase circuits to short out and ignite the subsequent fire. The fire department established a safe perimeter of 10 metres around the downed hydro lines and awaited the arrival of BC Hydro technicians to de-energize the lines. Firefighters were deployed to the roof of the Super Valu to ensure the fire had not extended into the roof area of the building, as well as evacuated the occupants of the business until it was deemed safe. Country Treasures New and Used building was also monitored and checked for any fire spread. This proved to be the start of a busy weekend. Next, fire crews assisted an elderly gentleman who had fallen in his residence, then assisted BC Ambulance with an injured motor cross rider, and the month ended with crews attending a two-vehicle accident on Lougheed Highway. Fire crews provided traffic control and first responder medical aid to the 7 occupants of the two vehicles until the arrival of the paramedics and RCMP. The AFD attended to three complaints of burning as well this month.

Dwight Schneider

Lieutenant

Agassiz Fire Department