A fire at the demolition site of the old SAMS gym on July 22 was caused by a spark from a cutting torch falling into debris, confirmed Helen Zhao, Secretary Treasurer with SD 49. The Hagensborg Fire Department responded quickly to the blaze, and tried out their new fire truck in the process
“We actually received the first notification of the fire from the active 9-1-1 system,” explained Fire Chief Tony Norton. “It’s a new system that notifies all of our members and it worked really well. We received that information before the local call came through a short time later.”
Active 911 is software project that processes 911 alerts to cellphones. It was started by a firefighter that was frustrated with the existing technology, and it has now grown to providing the service to over 300,000 first responders worldwide from its base in Western Oregon.
Firefighters Jim Knudsen and Stuart Harrison drove the trucks while Garrett Newkirk, Robbie Tippie, Tony Norton and Brad Goodacre battled the blaze. Norton said they were pleased with the performance of the new truck.
“The new truck was perfect,” Norton said. “It has almost doubled the capacity of the old truck; we dumped five truckloads with the new one and three with the old.”
Norton said the smoke from the fire, which burned old building material at the site, was “pretty nasty.”
“I’m still coughing and hacking from it,” he shared.
The Hagensborg Fire Department has only got by with using one truck for almost 40 years, but Norton said having both was certainly useful at this last call and that the department has room for two in its garage.
“This is the first time we’ve used two trucks on a fire and it was needed,” Norton confirmed.
The new truck was purchased just earlier this month and picked up in Prince George by members of the crew.
“We’re also pleased to announce that the Hagensborg Fire Department has received a $50,000 grant from the Fire Chiefs’ Association of British Columbia to outfit the new truck,” said Norton. “We have put on a self-contained breathing apparatus, hoses and nozzles, and ladders.”
This is the second call the fire department has had in a month; on July 4 they responded to a fire at Bella Coola Recycling on Walker Island Road.