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Driving over fire hoses illegal: Fredericton Fire, province

Click to play video 'Fredericton fire department hoses damage by motorists during fire' Fredericton fire department hoses damage by motorists during fire
WATCH ABOVE: An early morning fire in a two story Fredericton area farm house drew a quick response from city firefighters. As Adrienne South reports, the blaze itself was minor, but responding crews faced unexpected challenges with their equipment – Jan 17, 2017

Fredericton Fire officials are reminding motorists driving over fire hoses is illegal in New Brunswick after two lines were damaged Tuesday, causing unexpected delays for crews battling a blaze.

Platoon captain Peter McMurtie said crews received a call to the 300 block on Canada Street shortly after 7 a.m.

McMurtie said there were reports of smoke coming from the interior walls of a two-story farm house.  He said it took approximately an hour to put out the electrical fire, but drivers travelling down the road caused delays that could have made matters worse.

“Several vehicles actually drove over our four-inch supply line and actually caused some damage to at least two lengths of it,” McMurtie said.

Fredericton Fire prevention and investigative bureau Lt. Cameron Dunn said the cuts in the hose reduced the water to the truck.

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“We actually had to shut down the hydrant [and] take that line out of service,” Dunn said.

He said two hoses were run over and damaged, receiving multiple cuts from several vehicles, causing the added difficulties in fighting the fire.

Two families live in the house, McMurtie said, with the damage impacting a family of three in an apartment in the back of the house. No one in the home was injured, but McMurtie said a firefighter was taken to hospital with minor injuries after slipping on ice.

‘It puts them in jeopardy’

According to New Brunswick’s Motor Vehicle Act it’s illegal to drive over a fire hose.

Justice and Public Safety director of communications Elaine Bell says drivers can be fined a minimum of $172.50.

“It is an offense for a motorist to drive over an unprotected hose if it’s laid across a private driveway, a road, or a street or a highway unless you have received direction from a fire department official,” Bell said.

Dunn says it’s critical for the public to understand the risk of driving over hoses.

“We have members inside of the building fighting a fire and if the water supply is cut off, it puts them in jeopardy,” Dunn said.

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He says if motorists come across a fire hose on the road they should stay in place and wait for direction from a fire officer, or turn around.

“The public needs to be aware that they need to stay clear of fire operations and fire trucks and mainly [know] they cannot drive over our fire hoses,” McMurtie added.

Dunn said one of the hoses may be repairable but there is no confirmation on the cost of new hoses.

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