Highway 17 closed as Surrey firefighters battle propane blaze

Surrey RCMP control traffic as firefighers fight fire at Pacific Propane Container Recycling

Photos from the scene of a propane fire in Bridgeview Monday afternoon. (Photos: Shane Mackichan)

Photos from the scene of a propane fire in Bridgeview Monday afternoon. (Photos: Shane Mackichan)

Surrey Mounties are assisting firefighters with traffic control as they fight a three-alarm fire at Pacific Propane Container Recycling in Bridgeview.

The fire was reported at 1:24 p.m. and it is not yet known what caused it. The fire is in the 13000-block of 116th Avenue, parallel to Highway 17, at Pacific Propane.

Initially Highway 17 was closed in both directions between 128th Street and 117th Avenue, but Surrey RCMP say traffic re-opened to eastbound traffic some time before 3:30 p.m.

Just before 4:30 p.m., Drive BC said the highway had been re-opened in both directions, but to “expect delays due to heavy congestion.”

“I would advise people as we start heading into the end-of-day commute to try to find alternate routes. We don’t want to clog the area up, so the fire department can do its work,” Surrey RCMP Corporal Elenore Sturko said.

Deputy Fire Chief Mark Griffioen said “there was a report of a patient with burns.”

Surrey RCMP say the person was taken to hospital.

Griffioen said at 2:50 p.m. that the fire was not yet extinguished. “The difficulty with this situation is because of the hazard that propane presents and the distance that propane can be deadly at,” he told the Now-Leader. “The firefighters are being very defensive and they’re just throwing the water as far as they can and just cooling everything, so it’s not a normal operation in that sense.”

He couldn’t say, at this time of writing, if neighbouring businesses are at risk. “That is not part of any of the reports that I’ve had,” Griffioen said. “To my knowledge, there weren’t any exposures that weren’t part of that business.”

Around 2:45 p.m., Surrey RCMP said the intersection of Highway 1 and 176th Street had been closed, that eastbound traffic on Highway 17 was being diverted just before Bridgeview, and that the intersection of Highway 17 and 136th Street was also closed.



tom.zytaruk@surreynowleader.com

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