This bird’s eye view shows the tanker truck fire on Highway 24. Black smoke could be seen from a far distance. (Photo submitted by Kurtis Rainer)

This bird’s eye view shows the tanker truck fire on Highway 24. Black smoke could be seen from a far distance. (Photo submitted by Kurtis Rainer)

RCMP respond to tanker fire in Little Fort

The Clearwater detachment responded to 37 calls this past week.

Submitted by G.D. Simpson

June 10

Const. Lockwood was making patrols in Little Fort, B.C., at 2:00 p.m. on Highway 5 and observed a 69-year-old local man operating another 40-year-old, Little Fort man’s white Ford F-350 with a long, black flat deck trailer. The 41-year-old was a passenger in the vehicle.

Const. Lockwood queried the Alberta plate of the trailer the day previous and learned the trailer didn’t have active insurance. A traffic stop was initiated and he observed the goose neck fifth-wheel trailer didn’t have the breakaway attached properly. He conducted a brief trailer inspection and learned the breakaway did not engage and the trailer lights were not working.

An immediate notice of inspection (NOI) was issued for the trailer. Const. Lockwood ran the power unit as well through a brief inspection and learned the emergency brake was not working. Another NOI was issued for the truck to be done prior to reinsuring it.

A local towing company towed the trailer to their yard at the owner’s request to have the inspection completed there. A violation ticket was also issued to the registered owner for no insurance, insecure cargo and an inadequate breakaway device.

June 11

At 10:44 a.m., Clearwater RCMP received a call from a 26-year-old Vavenby female reporting a shed fire in the 3000 block of Hundsbedt Road in Vavenby, B.C. The complainant stated she believed the fire was set by her 40-year-old ex-boyfriend as he had been sending threatening text messages to her previously about burning the house down.

Const. Lockwood attended, along with the Vavenby Fire Department who was already on scene. He spoke with the complainant, who showed him text messages that led Const. Lockwood to believe that her ex had set the fire.

He obtained a statement from the complainant then made patrols for the ex, later locating him at a residence on Guru Nanak Drive. The suspect was arrested for arson, provided his charter rights and warning, and transported back to the Clearwater detachment cells and lodged after speaking with legal aid.

The ex advised that he was at his father’s residence and did not set the fire. Const. Lockwood obtained scene photos, as well as screenshots from the complainant’s cell phone related to the threats. Investigation into this incident continues.

June 13

Clearwater RCMP was notified of a tanker truck that was on fire at the runaway lane near Cartwright Road on Highway 24 in Little Fort, B.C. Blackpool and Little Fort fire departments were also dispatched.

Const. Lockwood attended and observed a tanker truck, B-train, approximately 600 metres up the runaway lane from Highway 24, with flames coming from underneath the truck.

Fire crews were attempting to knock the fire down until they were advised to disengage from the fire and all crews backed away.

Const. Lockwood spoke with the driver, a 61-year-old Alberta man, who said he was coming down the hill and his brakes caught fire. The driver advised there was 38,000 litres of gas and 15,000 litres of diesel on board.

A couple of local residents were evacuated from their residences near Cartwright Road.

At 3:45 p.m., the highway was reopened with single-lane, alternating traffic while the tankers were still burning. Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy was notified, as well as highways. A few hours later, at 7:00 p.m., fire crews managed to suppress the fire with the use of foam. The fire was extinguished and evacuation was lifted.

The Ministry of Environment arrived to assess the situation. Investigation is ongoing at this time.

Clearwater RCMP responded to 37 calls for service this past week.

Sgt. G.D. Simpson is the detachment commander at the Clearwater RCMP Detachment. Anyone with information on a crime is encouraged to call Clearwater RCMP at 250-674-2237 or, to report anonymously, Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.