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Update: Richmond fire crews praised for attacking boat fires

Firefighters had to move quickly when one of the boats broke free and got trapped under the Moray Bridge

Firefighters are being praised for their swift action in “putting down” a blaze under the Moray Bridge, where three boats were on fire Monday afternoon.

Richmond Fire-Rescue deputy chief Jim Wishlove hailed his 19-strong crew, from seven trucks, which raced to the fire on the middle arm of Fraser River about 3:45 p.m.

What firefighters found was three boats ablaze, just west of Bridgeport and No. 3 roads – the largest of which was about 30-feet long.

It is believed the fire started on a 20-foot fishing boat, before spreading to the other two, which were moored next to it.

However, as fire crews were preparing to tackle the blaze, the boat where the fire started broke free, before drifting under the bridge, where it got stuck.

And not knowing whether there was still someone on the boat or not, some of the firefighters quickly got into their water rescue gear.

As they were doing that, other crew members raced to the bridge above to pour foam and water onto the boat from above.

“It was really difficult to access parts of this fire and I have to commend the crews. They attacked that fire very quickly and did a fantastic job,” added Wishlove, noting that Richmond Fire-Rescue doesn’t have its own boat to reach fire on the water.

“This was a really good tactical use of our resources.”

Wishlove said the fires on the three vessels was completely extinguished after about an hour.

He said Tuesday the cause of the fire is still not known and is still being investigated.

That section of Bridgeport Road, which leads to YVR, had to be shut down temporarily during rush hour on Monday.

One of the boats belonged to Monica Doiron, who had actually sold it on Monday, with the buyer due to pick it up on Tuesday.

She told the Richmond News it suffered extensive damage after flames jumped to hers from the next boat, although its motor was intact.

Thick smoke from the blaze could be seen for miles at around 4 p.m. Monday.Update: Several Richmond boats hit by Monday's blaze_0

Update: Several Richmond boats hit by Monday's blaze_3
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