Langford Fire Rescue crews were stretched thin Tuesday afternoon as multiple calls led the department to lean on mutual aid partners for assistance.
Late morning the department was called to a roll-over motor vehicle crash on Humpback Road. Fire Chief Bob Beckett said no serious injuries were reported from the incident, but while crews were attending they received a call for a gas line struck on Leigh Road near Dunford Avenue. Crews were dispatched to that scene and while there, a third call came in for a structure fire.
“A caller saw heavy smoke coming from the rear of the property,” Beckett said, noting it was near Rainville and Wentwich roads.
Colwood Fire Rescue was alerted and helped respond to the fire, which turned out to be someone using a burn barrel in their backyard.
“It was a completely illegal burn … It boggles my mind, we’re deploying valuable resources during a serious situation,” an exasperated Beckett said.
Fire crews responded to the gas leak at around 1:30 and were on scene until shortly before 4:30 p.m. Initial reports were that the line was pierced by an excavator working in the area.
Traffic was diverted from Dunford Avenue down Carlow Road, while southbound traffic on Leigh Road was diverted at the Goldstream Avenue intersection. Beckett acknowledged that it created a major disruption to a number of people, but said the safety risk was just too great to allow people into the area. “It was a feed line off a six-inch line, so high volume (and) very close to a number of residences.”
Crews evacuated surrounding residences as a precaution.
Besides Langford fire crews, the city’s engineering department, B.C. Ambulance Service, West Shore RCMP, B.C. Hydro and Fortis Gas all had crews on scene throughout the incident. “I’d like to thank everyone involved… It’s a real team approach,” Beckett added.