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Rush-hour blaze halts bridge

Ailrine passenger speaks of flying through smoke

Vancouver fire crews on the land and water doused a blaze on the Canadian Pacific Railway trestle bridge over the North Arm of the Fraser River Wednesday afternoon.

The fire closed traffic to and from Richmond across the nearby Oak Street Bridge for about an hour because of dense smoke that could be seen across the region.

The swing-span trestle, known as the Marpole Bridge, was originally built in 1902 and replaced in 1966.

The fire, which resulted in four fire trucks dispatched to the scene at 4:50 p.m., was successfully put out, with the Oak Street Bridge reopened to traffic in both directions at 5:55 p.m., said Vancouver Assistant Fire Chief Dale Booth.

While road traffic was affected, aircraft landing at nearby YVR was not, said Vancouver Airport Authority spokesperson Kate Donegani.

"There was no impact at all to flight operations," she said, adding road closures may have delayed some passengers making their way to and from the airport terminals on Sea Island.

For one landing passenger on a flight from Toronto, the smoke provided some scary moments.

"Flew right through this - as we were landing at the YVR. For a couple of seconds thought that was our engine burning," said Timur Kalyuzhnyy in a post on the Richmond News' Facebook page.