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Firefighter rescues driver from burning car after crash in Nanaimo

Incident happened in East Wellington in the early-morning hours Saturday, June 4
An East Wellington Volunteer Fire Department firefighter hurried to a crash scene and vehicle fire close to his house and may have saved the life of a driver Saturday, June 4. (News Bulletin file photo)

A firefighter rushed to a crash scene close to his house and rescued a woman from a burning car early this morning in Nanaimo’s East Wellington area.

First responders were called to a motor vehicle incident which had sparked a fire at Munroe Road at about 12:30 a.m. Saturday, June 4. The crash happened near the residence of firefighter Mark McCallum, said David LeNeveu, East Wellington Fire Department deputy fire chief, and McCallum rushed to the scene before the fire truck arrived.

“He responded by going directly to the scene, as a civilian … as he had no gear at his house,” said LeNeveu. “He found a car on fire under a mess of trees, and I mean the car was buried in trees and it was on fire and he was able to extract a young woman from the car. In the words of not myself, but [police on scene], he saved the girl’s life … It was an amazing response by our firefighter.”

LeNeveu suggested that if McCallum hadn’t responded so quickly, the outcome could have been worse.

“By the time I rolled up on scene the car was fully engulfed. It was actively exploding,” the deputy chief said.

Both trees and the vehicle were on fire and crews extinguished the blazes.

The woman was the lone occupant of the vehicle.

Reserve Const. Gary O’Brien, Nanaimo RCMP spokesperson, said the woman was taken to hospital for non-life threatening injuries and while no charges have been laid so far, alcohol is being investigated as a contributing factor.

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