The Fredericton Fire Department says impatient motorists endangered the lives of firefighters and jeopardized a couple's home in Lincoln earlier this week.
Crews responded to a garage fire on Lincoln Road Tuesday night and were linking several hoses together to reach the nearest hydrant, about 850 metres away, when dozens of motorists, anxious to get by, drove over the hoses.
"We cannot believe that some of you drove over our supply line," the fire department said in a tweet.
"Driving over lines endangered our firefighters, reducing water supply to the #structurefire #dissapointed #saddened by your actions."
It is illegal under the provincial Motor Vehicle Act to drive over a fire hose. The offence carries a fine of $172.50.
'This is our life line when fighting a fire. Please keep us safe.' - Fredericton Fire Department
"This is our life line when fighting a fire," the department tweeted. "Please help keep us safe."
One of the hoses ended up getting damaged by the vehicles, said assistant deputy fire chief David McKinley.
"It was leaking, leaking too bad. It was ruptured … so they had to replace it off a different truck and got it going. There was still another leak further up the line where someone else had driven over it," he said.
Then "somebody pulled out and the line caught their vehicle and they pulled it down the street [about 45 metres]. So firefighters had to scramble and take it back."
The garage was destroyed, leaving nothing more than the charred carcasses of snowmobiles and a lot of ash.
Owners Kelsie Sharpe and Tom Bradbury say they are happy no one was hurt and that they didn't lose their home.
"I looked out of the window and saw the garage fully engulfed and I knew there was a big propane tank in there, so panic set in, so I gathered the animals to get out as fast as we could," recalled Sharpe.
"The fire hydrant is quite a ways down the road and [firefighters] told us that someone had run over the lines. So that cut the water supply to the house. But we're still really lucky they caught it in time and saved the house," she said.
The heat from the garage fire was so intense it boiled the paint on the side of the house.