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Fire/downed power line on Columbia, Samaritans step up in a huge way

Photo courtesy Andre Gauthier

What could have been a dangerous fire was dealt with by three quick-thinking Samaritans this afternoon, when a power line went down on Columbia Avenue at about 2 p.m., according to fire chief Gerry Rempel.

“We were standing outside the fire hall and watched the line go down,” he said, adding he quickly headed over to where it landed on the corner of 22nd between Columbia Avenue and 6 Avenue to keep people away from the live wire. “It was still energized and sparking.”

While he was standing there, he saw some other electrical component (perhaps a transformer) blow a block away, starting a hedge fire in the 2300 block of Columbia Avenue.

By the time crews got to the second incident, an SPL Paving truck had stopped and was applying a fire extinguisher, a cement truck had pulled over and was hosing the blaze with its on-board water supply, and the home owner was attacking it with a garden hose.”

“It was really, really quick thinking on their part,” he said. “By the time we got there, they had it pretty much contained. It was awesome!”

He said about 10 feet of hedges were burned, and that’s it.

“They did a real swell job.”

By the time of this interview, at 2:30 p.m., Fortis was on scene and had secured the downed wire, and was set to string new wire to businesses like Canadian Tire and Shopper’s Drug Mart, both of which lost power, presumably as a result of the power issues further along Columbia Avenue.

The Castlegar Source would like to congratulate the three on-the-ball Samaritans, so if anyone knows their names and contact information, please message the Source on Facebook. Thank you.