Building evacuated, as high-voltage power lines spark fire in ivy-covered power pole

Building evacuated, as high-voltage power lines spark fire in ivy-covered power pole

A section of Old Yale Road in central Abbotsford was shut down Saturday evening

A burning ivy-covered power pole shut down traffic along a section of Old Yale Road and forced the evacuation of an apartment building just metres away Saturday evening.

Abbotsford Fire Rescue Service crews responded to a call around 5:12 p.m. to what was first reported as a burning tree in front of an apartment building near the corner of Old Yale and South Fraser Way.

“Crews arrived here and they found large volume of fire coming out of a tree – we initially thought it was a tree,” assistant fire chief Craig Bird said. “Turns out it’s a power pole that’s been enclosed with growing ivy.”

He said allowing ivy to grow on a power pole is “not a recommended idea.”

Traffic was shut down and firefighters waited just over an hour for a crew from BC Hydro to come and shut off power to the line running into the pole.

“Something like this that’s involved with high-voltage, we maintain a secure perimeter and we wait for Hydro to come in, close down the power, shut the power off, and then we close down the fire,” Bird said.

Bird said work that power has been cut to the apartment building and its owner will now have to go through a process with BC Hydro to have it restored.

 

Building evacuated, as high-voltage power lines spark fire in ivy-covered power pole

Building evacuated, as high-voltage power lines spark fire in ivy-covered power pole

Building evacuated, as high-voltage power lines spark fire in ivy-covered power pole