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