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Roberts Creek Volunteer Fire Department swiftly responds to vehicle blaze

Department uses its new vehicle fire ‘pump and roll’ apparatus

There were no injuries and no damage to structures caused by a vehicle fire in Roberts Creek on Monday.

Roberts Creek Volunteer Fire Department (RCVFD) received the call at 1:09 p.m, Nov. 6, for an SUV on fire on Henderson Road. 

Fire chief Pat Higgins said that when he arrived, the entire engine block of the car was already engulfed in flame. 

The fire started shortly after a member of the family arrived home; they reported smelling something they did not recognize in the car. It is believed an electrical malfunction started the fire.

Fortunately, the vehicle was parked away from the house instead of its usual location in a wooden carport next to a trailer. Higgins said because of this, there was no threat to surrounding structures or vegetation. However, the vehicle was destroyed.

New apparatus on the scene

The apparatus that arrived on scene is the newest addition to the RCVFD’s fleet, which is designed in part to quickly tackle vehicle fires.

Higgins explained that the “pump and roll” apparatus is basically a water nozzle mounted on the front bumper of the truck and is controlled from inside the cab.

“This allows the operator of the truck or the officer sitting in the front passenger seat to start attacking the fire basically before the car even stops moving,” he said.

Higgins said this was the first chance the department has had to show how effective this vehicle is, and that it saved them a lot of time.

“The operator of the truck stopped the truck and he got the pump started, and he started attacking the fire in the engine compartment and knocked it down considerably, "Higgins said. “While he's doing that, the other member is getting his breathing apparatus on and he'll pull a different nozzle off the back that's on a hose and start working on foot.” 

Jordan Copp is the Coast Reporter’s civic and Indigenous affairs reporter. This reporting beat is made possible by the Local Journalism Initiative.