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Richmond Fire-Rescue called to contain 'rare' fuel spill incident

Firefighters respond to three to five hazardous material calls per month.
Richmond Fire-Rescue responded to a fuel leak incident in March.

About 200 litres of diesel were spilled near the border of Richmond and New Westminster in March, according to a recent City of Richmond community safety report.

In the report dated April 12, Richmond Fire-Rescue outlined the incident as one of the notable events during March 2024.

Shortly before 10 p.m. on March 25, emergency hazmat crews were called to a commercial premises near Hamilton Transit Centre and Starlight Casino in the 4000 block of Boundary Road where the diesel fuel had reportedly leaked from two containers.

The company called a hazardous material team to contain the fuel that leaked into the drains, while Richmond Fire-Rescue crews used absorbent material to contain the fuel on the ground.

No injuries were reported and no fines have been issued as of now.

Richmond Fire-Rescue chief Jim Wishlove told the Richmond News the company was "very proactive" in responding to the spill and had a mitigation plan in place before crews arrived.

"It might look like a lot (of fuel), but in the whole scheme of things, a semi-trailer might be carrying four or 500 litres of fuel on it across the province. To put it into context, it's not that bad," he added.

On average, Richmond Fire-Rescue receives three to five hazardous material calls per month. Such calls can include anything from fuel spills from motor vehicle collisions to leakage from illegal methamphetamine labs.

Incidents such as the March fuel spill are "really quite rare," said Wishlove, adding that companies that store hazardous materials are often required to set mitigation plans before occupying the premises.

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