Nova Scotia

Halifax firefighter must testify in Spryfield forest fire lawsuit

A retired Halifax firefighter is being forced to testify in a lawsuit that several property owners and insurance companies have launched against the city.

No word on when trial will proceed

A retired Halifax firefighter is being forced to testify in a lawsuit that several property owners and insurance companies have launched against the city.

The lawsuit stems from a massive forest fire that swept through the McIntosh Run area of Spryfield in April 2009. The plaintiffs argue Halifax Regional Fire & Emergency was negligent in how it handled the fire.

Brian Conrad was a district captain for the fire department when he briefly assumed control of the scene in Spryfield during the fire. The Halifax Regional Municipality and the fire department went to court to try to prevent Conrad from having to testify. They argued he was a minor player in efforts to fight the fire.

But a justice with the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia disagreed.

"The plaintiffs are seeking to establish gross negligence based on a series of negligent acts," Justice Arthur Pickup wrote in a decision released Tuesday.

"The actions of Mr. Conrad as one of the fire captains on April 30, 2009 is highly relevant as to whether or not the defendants should be held liable for the losses suffered by the plaintiffs."

The lawsuit is still in the discovery stage, meaning the plaintiffs are trying to interview Conrad before a trial.

There's no word on when a trial may actually proceed.

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