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Rail car fire, mysterious explosion near Roger Creek gully keep Port Alberni fire crews busy

May long weekend was ‘relatively quiet’ for first responders in Port Alberni: Fire Chief Owens
A burned out rail car that is part of the Alberni Pacific Railway’s equipment, sits on train tracks beside Enex Fuels on Harbour Road in Port Alberni, May 25, 2022. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)

The Port Alberni Fire Department had to douse a couple of suspicious fires over May long weekend.

Just after 8:30 p.m. on Monday, May 23, two fire crews were called to an abandoned rail car on fire in the area of Dunbar Street and Harbour Road, near Enex Fuels. PAFD Chief Mike Owens said crews arrived to find one of the rail cars already on fire.

“Immediately adjacent to that was another rail car, so there was some concern about fire spread,” he said.

The two crews worked to extinguish the fire and confine it to the rail car of origin. As firefighters were finishing up, Owens said they were called to another incident—this time, an explosion and fire near Roger Creek on the Scott Kenny Trail.

“The same two crews ended up responding to that,” said Owens.

Crews extinguished a tree on fire and some adjacent wildland. No people were found in the vicinity of either of the fires, said Owens. The cause of the explosion has not been determined yet, but investigators discovered what looked to be the remnants of a propane cylinder in the area.

Both fires are currently being treated as suspicious and are being investigated by Port Alberni RCMP.

Other than some medical calls, Owens said the fire department had a fairly quiet long weekend. Crews were called out again to a fire Tuesday afternoon at a house on Fourth Avenue, but Owens said this one was caused by a pot left on the stove and was quickly extinguished.

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Elena Rardon

About the Author: Elena Rardon

I have worked with the Alberni Valley News since 2016.
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