A West Shore RCMP officer attending a collision in rush hour traffic Wednesday morning got caught in her own emergency situation when her patrol car caught fire.
The officer was stopped southbound on the Trans Canada Highway just past the Helmcken Road overpass merge lane shortly after 8 a.m., according to View Royal Fire Department Lt. Rob Marshall.
“She turned around and saw the smoke coming from the vehicle,” he said.
Fortunately for the officer, an off-duty Langford firefighter just happened to be driving by at the time.
The firefighter was able to instruct the officer on how to extinguish the fire and alerted his dispatch to call for View Royal crews.
Marshall added the small fire was out by the time View Royal crews arrived on scene.
The cause of the fire appeared to be a secondary emergency signal bulb installed beside the turn signal, which “shorted out and caught fire,” he said.
West Shore RCMP confirmed the cause of the fire appeared to be a mechanical issue in the headlight. A detachment spokesperson also confirmed that no one was injured as a result of the fire and there was only minor damage done to the vehicle.
The incident backed up Highway 1 traffic heading into Victoria well past the Millstream Road overpass in Langford.
Langford Fire Rescue was called to a vehicle fire later that morning at roughly 11:15. Crews arrived on scene to find a Ford F350 truck fully engulfed on the Leigh Road overpass, said Assistant Chief Scott Davidson.
“Unfortunately, when you have a fully engulfed vehicle fire there’s not much you can do,” he said. Crews were quickly able to put out the fire, causing the road to be closed for about 10 minutes while they extinguished the blaze.
They were then able to reopen the road to alternating traffic while the scene was cleaned up.
“There was a lot of magnesium, which was a little challenging,” Davidson said, adding that crews also had to contend with some leaking diesel as well as all of the plastic components of the vehicle.
Davidson believed the cause of the fire to be a diesel fuel leak in the engine compartment. He said the driver had just filled up and smelled the leaking fuel but was unable to stop the leak before the fire started.
No one was injured and the driver was able to safely exit the vehicle.