January 2, 2018 12:29 pm
Updated: January 3, 2018 12:07 am

Firefighter hurt after suspected impaired driver plows through scene on DTES

WATCH: A Vancouver firefighter faces a long recovery and rehabilitation after a suspected drunk driver plowed into the scene of a fire. Linda Aylesworth reports.


A Vancouver firefighter is in hospital this morning after getting hurt during a call on the Downtown Eastside.

Early Tuesday morning a call came in about a fire in a vacant building at Main and Hastings streets — the second fire call at that location in only 24 hours.

Both fires are believed to have been started by squatters on an upper floor.

As firefighters were setting up outside and getting ready, a man drove onto the scene and caught a fire hose under the wheels of his car.

WATCH: Firefighter injured

One firefighter got tangled up in the hose, injuring his leg. He was taken to St. Paul’s Hospital and is expected to recover but is facing a long period of care and rehabilitation.

The driver continued to drive forward with the hose caught underneath the wheels. Vancouver police officers were on scene quickly and arrested the driver who was suspected to be impaired.

READ MORE: Major fire in Vancouver at metal shop; several explosions on scene

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“He’s destroyed a piece of hose and [one of the couplings],” said Vancouver Fire and Rescue chief Glen Livingstone. “He continued to drive down towards the fire scene with a coupling wedged underneath his car.”

“Unbelievable, yet not the first time it’s happened.”

The driver was handed a three-day roadside driving ban and his car has been impounded.

Officials say this is a reminder the firefighters face many dangers while on the job, and not just associated with running into a burning building.

Vancouver Fire and Rescue wants to remind drivers to slow down when approaching emergency scenes, and to always obey traffic redirection cones, tape, or personnel. Emergency scenes can cause disruption to traffic flow, but it is critical for the safety of staff, partner agencies, and for those affected by the incident that first responders have a secure area in which to operate.

WATCH MORE: Global BC reporter Jordan Armstrong reports live from the accident scene.

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