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Ucluelet firefighters tackle fishing vessel fire in Hitacu

Ucluelet Volunteer Fire Brigade respondS to a vessel fire in Hitacu on Dec. 29
The Ucluelet Volunteer Fire Brigade fought a vessel fire at the Hitacu dock on Dec. 29. (Photo courtesy of the Ucluelet Volunteer Fire Brigade)

The Ucluelet Volunteer Fire Brigade responded to a vessel fire in Hitacu on Dec. 29.

The fire was reported at 3 a.m. and Ucluelet Fire Chief Rick Geddes told the Westerly News it was fully engulfed with bystanders doing their best to put it out with a hose by the time his team arrived.

He said crews tackled the blaze until around 7 a.m.

“It wasn’t totally out because we were concerned that when you fill a boat with water then, of course, eventually the boat’s going to sink and that’s the last thing we wanted to do. We wanted to make sure the fire was well-contained without sinking the vessel, so we managed to do that,” he said.

He said the vessel continued smouldering for several hours throughout the day and was monitored closely.

“We had eyes on it. The Ucluelet First Nation kept monitoring it and they kept me in the loop to make sure there was no extension of the fire and it was doing what we planned it would do and it did exactly that,” he said.

He said a cause of the fire is not known.

He added five brigade members responded to the scene.

“This team I’ve inherited and the dedication that we have is just amazing. We don’t have a big team, but we have a very dedicated team that drops everything at 3 a.m. to do what needs to be done, no questions asked,” he said.

He said after returning to the fire hall, firefighters must get to work on equipment maintenance to be ready for the next call.

“When you get back and you just want to go home to sleep or have breakfast or see your loved ones and there’s still hours left of work to be done, that’s where the dedication really shines through,” he said. “Nobody leaves that hall until we’re back and ready for service 100 per cent.”

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Andrew Bailey

About the Author: Andrew Bailey

I arrived at the Westerly News as a reporter and photographer in January 2012.
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