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Capital region power outages send firefighters on 5 separate elevator rescues

West Shore firefighters left busy with rescues, flooding and fires on Monday
West Shore firefighters had a busy start to the week. (Black Press Media file photo)

Teamwork got West Shore fire crews through a busy start to the week that included five elevator rescues due to power outages.

Langford Fire Rescue Chief Chris Aubrey said Monday (Nov. 15) was challenging from the start with flooding. Before 1 p.m. the department had a dozen calls – mostly relating to flooding.

With the rain subsiding just in time for the wind to knock out power to approximately 50,000 southern Vancouver Island BC Hydro customers on Monday, firefighters were left running between calls.

ALSO READ: Greater Victoria recovering from floods, outages (video)

After 1 p.m. Langford fire crews responded to another dozen calls including four elevator rescues, one of which was an assist in Colwood. Other calls included a structure fire at the Reflections condo building on Veterans Memorial Parkway, hydro lines on fire at Happy Valley and Walfred roads, and numerous trees down on power lines and alarm calls.

View Royal Fire Chief Paul Hurst said the day started to take a turn for his department at around 1:30 p.m. when crews headed out for wires down on Burnside Road. While at that call, View Royal and Colwood received a request from Langford for mutual aid at the Reflections building fire.

With View Royal’s ladder truck assisting in Langford, a call came in for an elevator rescue in View Royal and another call for alarm bells. With the West Shore departments spread between multiple calls, Esquimalt’s fire department jumped in to help with the alarm.

ALSO READ: Atmospheric river behind record rain and flooding in Greater Victoria

While Esquimalt was on that call, another wires down call came in for View Royal. With Langford and Colwood both responding to other calls, View Royal was able to transfer an engine to the latest call.

As the evening progressed View Royal saw another two medical calls, a crash, and another alarm call – all between 5 and 7 p.m. Crews also aided six homes flooded by street runoff and rising creek waters while also contending with traffic lights out due to the power outage.

Aubrey noted between the flooding, the Trans-Canada Highway closure and most traffic lights out in Langford due to power outages, it was challenging for emergency vehicles to get through the traffic.

Over in Colwood, firefighters responded to several calls of note, including the mutual aid call for the structure fire in Langford, wires down, an elevator rescue, two alarm bells (one was to assist Langford) and a medical aid call.

Aubrey noted conditions had calmed down by Wednesday and crews were back to their regular routines.

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