UPDATED: RV catches fire on Mary Hill Bypass
The westbound lanes of the Mary Hill Bypass were closed Friday morning after an RV fire broke out and quickly spread to the nearby brush moving toward Citadel Drive.
With the recent hot, dry weather, it did not take long for the flames to travel to within 25 feet of nearby homes at the top of the hill, where crews were able to knock back the blaze.
"It is not extremely heavy brush," said Port Coquitlam fire chief Nick Delmonico. "It was lighter quick burning brush. It is a real concern this time of year. Everything is absolutely bone dry."
The fact the bypass does not have hydrant service further exacerbated the situation.
Leaking propane tanks fueled the RV fire, quickly depleting a 500 gallon pump truck that was one of the first vehicles to arrive on the scene.
Crews were eventually able to hook up with hydrants at a townhouse complex near Citadel Drive and began to fight the fire from the top of the hill.
"There were a number of propane tanks that exploded during the fire," he said. "Two were spewing propane on the fire."
Residents of the nearby townhouse complex were out with hoses, drenching the ground before the fire could reach their homes. Fire crews were able to hold back the blaze and nobody was hurt during the incident.
Delmonico said it is difficult to say what started the initial blaze in the RV. Most vehicle fire, he noted, are electrical and this motor home was an older model.
The incident snarled traffic heading westbound, with cars lined up to the Pitt River bridge and beyond. Vehicles were re-routed down Pitt River Road.
Eastbound traffic was still able to move through the area, but was slow.