British Columbia

Driver ignores yellow tape, ruptures hose at East Vancouver fire scene

Vancouver Fire Rescue is reminding drivers of the dangers of active emergency scenes, after a driver ruptured a hose at a three-alarm fire in East Vancouver Thursday.

"It could be the difference between a firefighter or a member of the public living or dying"

A driver ran over and ruptured this fire hose at a print shop fire in Vancouver Thursday. (Vancouver Fire Rescue/Twitter)

Vancouver Fire Rescue is reminding drivers of the dangers of active emergency scenes, after a driver ruptured a hose at a fire in East Vancouver.

The driver ignored the yellow tape at a three-alarm fire in the 1400-block of Pender Street Thursday afternoon. He then proceeded to drive down the street and over a working hose, rupturing it.

The fire department said if a vehicle drives over an active hose pouring water onto a burning building, it could rupture and endanger the driver or a firefighter using it.

"It may take five extra minutes to drive around or walk around to get where you're going, but it could be the difference between a firefighter or a member of the public living or dying," said Jonathan Gormick with Vancouver Fire, who added the fine isn't much of a deterrent.

"Pretty minor in terms of penalties to the driver," he said. "My understanding is under the MVA (Motor Vehicle Act), it's an $81 fine."

Pedestrians also at fault

Gormick also said it's not only drivers who need to be aware of how dangerous fire scenes can be, but also pedestrians.

Even with live wires on the ground, Gormick said firefighters have to stop people from walking through  active scenes regularly.

"Violating fire perimeters is a daily occurrence," he said. 

What we need is for people to be a bit more situationally aware … and realize its not for inconvenience, its for their safety, its for our safety."

With files from Deborah Goble

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