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Richmond railway bridge fire extinguished, air quality bulletin ended

Click to play video: 'Richmond railway bridge fire triggers air quality alert'
Richmond railway bridge fire triggers air quality alert
Clean-up is underway from a massive fire that destroyed an old rail bridge in Richmond Thursday night. Emily Lazatin has more on the challenges firefighters faced. – Jun 21, 2024

An air quality bulletin has now ended following a fire at a decommissioned rail crossing in Richmond Thursday night.

The fire produced thick black smoke that could be seen for kilometres across Metro Vancouver. Metro Vancouver ended the bulletin around 11:30 a.m. on Friday.

While air quality has improved, hazy conditions may be experienced with the smell of residual smoke in some areas,” according to Metro Vancouver.

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The blaze was first reported around 8 p.m., close to the Oak Street Bridge.

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According to a witness, an adjacent warehouse sparked the massive fire and flames quickly spread to the Marpole Rail Bridge, which was originally constructed in 1902.

Richmond Fire and Rescue confirmed to Global News that crews fought the blaze until 5 a.m. Friday.

Vancouver Fire Rescue’s fire boat was also called in to better reach the burning wood sections over the water.

“The terrain and the materials involved have made for a very challenging fire to extinguish completely,” Richmond Fire and Rescue said in an email to Global News.

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Metro Vancouver issued an Air Quality Bulletin for all sections of the region due to the smoke, recommending anyone feeling adverse effects to move indoors.

The Oak Street Bridge was closed for hours but has since reopened.

Additionally, operations at Vancouver International Airport were not impacted.

 

The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

There have been no reported injuries to fire staff or the public.

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