Explosion, Fire Damage Property on Braun's Island near Terrace

UPDATED 3PM FRIDAY AUG 31, 2018


A home and business were heavily damaged by an explosion and fire Thursday night on Braun's Island, adjacent to Terrace.

But Terrace's Deputy Fire Chief says quick action by the owner and some neighbours helped save the property from even greater loss.

The explosions were heard all over Terrace shortly before 10:30pm.

The resulting fire -- or maybe it was the fire that caused the explosions -- was captured on video by Lori McPherson -- her dad Vic is the owner of the property -- McPherson Trucking -- and he was home at the time.

Terrace Deputy Fire Chief Dave Jephson says Vic was able to moved at least some of the vehicles out of the way, while neighbours worked to extinguish spot fires until fire crews arrived.

"We can see from the damage on the house, the house was starting to burn on two sides, crews were able to action that and ensure that that didn't start on fire, we had another couple of dump trucks that were in close proximity to the fire, about 50-60 feet away, they were starting on fire; crews were able to monitor that, and that enabled us to protect the exposures and then work our way into the centre of the fire which we were actioning until at least 3:30 or 4 o'clock this (Friday) morning," explained Jephson.

Both the Terrace and Thornhill Fire Departments responded to the blaze, through the mutual response agreement which covers North Terrace and Braun's Island -- and Jephson says the crews worked well together -- although sometimes the effort was hampered by members of the public.

"It was just kinda crazy - a lot of explosions, people were worried about that, which brought more people out -- but as people come to the emergency scenes, that starts to hamper us as emergency workers, because our trucks and people can't get in closer to the fire," he said.

The fire department is now attempting to determine exactly what caused the explosion and fire.

Jephson says the damage bill is going to be very high -- but thankfully no one was injured.

He's also thankful this didn't happen a week ago, when everything was even drier than it is now.  

"We know for sure that flames were 150 feet into the air on one of these trees behind us, it was blowing trees and sparks all the way across into the other people's property and their house so that was another priority for us," he said.

And Jephson warns everyone that the fire hazard is still pretty high despite the return of wet weather -- and you still have to be very careful.
 

[COVER PHOTO:   Dennis Lissimore -- Facebook]