July fire calls in Agassiz include seven car accidents

Investigators still looking for witnesses for abandoned house fire

Once again the Agassiz Fire Department had a very busy month, responding to 27 call outs throughout July, including seven motor vehicle accidents.

Jul. 1 started with a motorcycle colliding with a van. The motorcycle rider had a very serious ankle injury and was transported by the British Columbia Ambulance Service to Chilliwack General Hospital. On Jul. 13, the department was sent to the entrance of Hicks Lake for a vehicle in the ditch. However, en route they were canceled as there were no injuries or fire hazard.

On Jul. 14 in the early hours of the morning, AFD were paged to a single vehicle accident on the top of Mt. Woodside. When crews arrived, they were told the driver had left the scene and was heading down the mountain towards the CP Rail tracks. AFD learned the driver was walking with injuries wandering down the tracks. With the help of the RCMP, the injured driver was located, treated on scene by BCAS, and released back to the RCMP for questioning.

Jul. 23 saw a three unit response for a logging truck rollover at the bottom of Mt Woodside. Upon arrival the driver was out of the vehicle, but there was a substantial amount of diesel fuel leaking from the truck posing a significant safety and environmental hazard. Fire crews contained the fuel to prevent any possible contamination of the ground water aquifer and spreading to neighboring farm land.

Traffic control was also established to ensure the safety of the public, as the Lougheed Hwy. was closed for four hours until the tow companies cleared the roadway. AFD stayed on scene monitoring the spill until the road was cleared and re-opened.

On Jul. 26, a single vehicle drove into a power pole on the Lougheed Hwy. The driver had suffered a medical issue causing them to veer off the road, severing the power pole in half. The vehicle had extensive damage, as well as knocking the hydro lines off their insulators, causing an energized scene. The driver was transported to CGH by BCAS.

The AFD wants to remind people that very often when utility poles are involved in incidents, the power lines are knocked off their insulators, creating a very dangerous scene where the ground will become energized. Stay back a minimum of 10 metres, and wait for emergency crews.

There was a false report of an MVA on Jul. 28. That day there was also a very serious incident, again on Mt. Woodside. A motorcycle drifted into oncoming traffic and was hit head on by another vehicle. BC air ambulance transported the motorcyclist to hospital with very serious injuries. The driver of the other vehicle was taken by BCAS to CGH for precautionary reasons due the high impact of the crash.

On Jul. 5, the AFD were investigating the house fire from Jun. 29 on Ashton Rd. This fire has been determined “suspicious” and is still under investigation by the AFD, RCMP, and the insurance company. Anyone with any information is asked to contact the RCMP or CrimeStoppers.

On Jul. 9, AFD were called to the Woodside apartments for a strange smell coming from one of the units. It was determined that the bathroom fan seized and starting to create a great amount of heat and a smell of melting plastic. AFD gave credit to the caller for dialing 911 and reporting this preventing what could have been a serious fire.

Reports of a vacant house fire on Golf Rd. turned out to be the new tenants burning debris in their back yard unaware of the fire ban.

On Jul. 11, the crews assisted BC Ambulance for a collapse in the backyard of a home.

The department attended three burning complaints in July. The public is reminded there is a burning ban in effect for the Coastal Fire Centre, including the District of Kent and all surrounding areas.

July also had three hazardous materials calls, one potentially very serious at the Red Apple on Canada Day, in which the building was evacuated. Fire crews determined the gas meter had a faulty pressure regulator and turned off the supply to the meter.

The building remained evacuated until Fortis arrived and deemed it safe to re-enter. A second was a complaint of the smell of gas in a residence which was determined to be from an outside source, and not natural gas in nature.

A report of power lines down on Highway 9 at McKay Cr. ended up being a communication cable line across the road posing no risk to the community.

The AFD is also urging drivers to slow down and use extra caution when driving during the busier summer months. Remember, “seat belts save lives.”

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