REPORTING · 16th September 2010
At around 1:00 pm Thursday, September 16, Richard Hilbach’s logging truck caught fire on Kalum Lake Drive approximately 15 kilometers north of Terrace on the Nisga’a Highway.
Hilbach was coming from Sandy Lake and heading to Prince Rupert. He had heard a small pop and decided to pull over to check and when he did he discovered the flames. He immediately called 911 and an officer, who was enroute to Rosswood, was quickly on scene. The truck was fully loaded with logs and had 800 litres of fuel in the tanks. The potential for a serious disaster was imminent.
The Terrace Fire Department did not respond nor did Thornhill as the location is outside of their fire protection boundaries. A call was made to the Kitsumkalum Band for their assistance and they indicated they would get a truck to the scene. The RCMP contacted the Aiyansh detachment for assistance on the North end of the blaze.
The Terrace Fire Department contacted the Provincial Emergency Program but did not receive a file number which would have allowed them to access equipment and resources without delay to attend to this fire.
The Kitsumkalum fire truck arrived carrying 300 gallons of water and they extinguished the fire without incident
There were no casualties or injuries and the single occupant, Richard Hilbach, managed to leave the logging truck before the flames started to flare up.
chomping at the bit to respond
Comment by bill braam on 19th September 2010
As any firefighter, my impulse would be to respond to a situation like this, but..... But the fire suit I personally possess belongs to the taxpayers of Terrace, the fire engine I would be riding on belongs to the taxpayers of Terrace, the fuel used belongs to the taxpayers of Terrace, the capability of all this combined is 'blessed' by the insurance underwriters of Canada to provide prompt service to the fire insured taxpayers of Terrace. Anyone trying to develope fire protection in an area has realized how many hurdles there are before the insurance underwriters will even begin to placed any trust in your capability. Any fire chief can tell you how diligent a fire department has to be to keep everything in good working order to be readily deployed at a moments notice for the biggest conceivable emergency when they least expect it. It may have seemed odd that non of Terrace or Thornhill's capability showed up for this logging truck fire but we have to stay put inside our fire response area, as much as we want to respond outside of it. Thank you for your time.