Spectators intensify fire risk

 
Photo: 86th Street was full of bumper-to-bumper traffic on Sunday as people tried to catch a glimpse of the blaze – Christine Rumleskie/Energeticcity.ca

Hundreds of Fort St. John residents jumped in their cars on Sunday evening to see what was causing the thick, black clouds in the sky.

Armed with cameras, camcorders – even their newborn children – spectators crammed the Alaska Highway and 86th Street to get a glimpse of the Rosenau Transport and Unified Valve fire.

Fort St. John Fire Chief Fred Burrows says one of the fire trucks met so much traffic on 86th Street, that it was forced to drive in the oncoming traffic lane.

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When the Peace Country Trailer Park was told to evacuate, many of the residents found it hard to leave. Not just because they were leaving their home, but because there was an unusual amount of traffic and pedestrians in their way.

Sandra Croskery and her family live two houses away from the fire. When they were told to leave, pregnant Sandra, her husband, their three-year-old child and the family dog jumped straight into their vehicle.

But, what should have been a two minute drive to exit the park, took over 10 minutes. Croskery says she even saw drivers taking pictures as they made their way down the road.

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Chief Burrows also admits, while he was pretty busy dealing with the fire, he was a little shocked at some of the things he saw.

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In the end, fire crews managed to successfully contain the fire, and there are no injuries to report.

But both Burrows and Croskery urge, the next time something like this happens, residents should wait to hear about it from the local media.

For more information on the fire, click here.

For video’s and photo’s from the fire, click here.

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