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Crushed cars, appliances go up in flames as barge burns in waters off Surrey

Last Updated Aug 10, 2018 at 7:50 pm PDT

A barge on fire in the Fraser River near the Pattullo Bridge. (Courtesy Twitter @thevalleybc)

Flames, smoke rose an estimated 2,500 feet in the air

Crushed cars and appliances were on fire on the barge on the Fraser River

SURREY (NEWS 1130) – A large fire on a barge by the east side of the Pattullo Bridge sent flames and smoke into the air along the Fraser River Friday morning.

Surrey Assistant Fire Chief Ben Dirksen said crews were called around 4:40 a.m. “Initial arriving crews discovered a large barge containing scrap cars and appliances with a significant fire in the middle of the pile.”

“Vancouver Fraser Port Authority has coordinated a response from a fire boat from Vancouver Fire Rescue Services. Between the crews on the ramp and the fire boats, we were able to get water on the entire pile.”

But Dirksen added the fire is deep-seeded and it will take awhile to completely put it out.

RELATED: Air quality advisory due to barge fire

Darren Grieve with the NEWS 1130 Air Patrol flew over the blaze.

Darren and his pilot were flying at an altitude of about 1,500 feet. He said the flames and smoke were rising above their height. “We’re estimating about 2,500 feet in the air.”

“The oil, the grease, and everything else involved in a vehicle — you can certainly smell it. It’s not a very pleasant smell,” said Darren.

He added the smoke was moving north.

“We are hearing a number of explosions,” said Greg Harper with Breakfast Television from Front Street in New Westminster Friday morning.

Terry was driving along Highway 17, saw the smoke and flames and and called NEWS 1130. “There’s a row of trees on the north side of Highway 17 that blocks [the direct view]. But you could see the flames over and above the height of the trees.”

“The black smoke is coming up and kind of settling over the area. It smells like chemicals or electrical,” said Michelle, who called from New Westminster.

– With files from Dean Recksiedler and Lasia Kretzel