Good Samaritan helps contain fire

NANAIMO – Passerby turns first responder with garden hose at boat fire.

Firefighters extinguish a boat fire in the driveway of a Cilaire home Friday. A Good Samaritan helped keep the fire contained until fire crews arrived.

A man’s attempt to contain a fire landed him in the hospital last week.

Mark Richardson, 43, and his family were driving on Departure Bay Road Friday afternoon when they saw black smoke and decided to investigate.

When they arrived at the scene, they found a pleasure craft on fire in the driveway of a home on Cilaire Drive.

When the fire spread to a trailer parked next to the burning boat, the balcony of the house and bushes, Richardson grabbed a garden hose to try to contain the fire.

He said witnesses then got a dog out of the house, which Richardson’s girlfriend kept with her until the homeowners arrived.

Richardson was still hosing down the area when fire crews arrived.

“I was wedged in between where the balcony was and the boat and they told me to get the hell out of there,” Richardson said.

Richardson said the situation was especially frightening when the heat caused trailer tires to explode.

“I was just shaking like a leaf,” Richardson said. “The ambulance guys said, ‘Are you all right?’ and I’m like, ‘Oh, yeah. I’m fine,’ and then I walk back to the Jeep to pet the dog and then that was it. I was toast.”

Richardson was taken to Nanaimo Regional General Hospital where he spent more than two hours being treated for smoke inhalation.

“I was just coughing up some black, chunky stuff,” Richardson said. “My face got a little burnt. It wasn’t anything drastic.”

Craig Richardson, chief of Nanaimo Fire Rescue, praised Mark Richardson’s actions and said fire department management were only made aware of his efforts Tuesday after speaking with fire investigators.

“We were just made aware that the civilian made some interventions on fighting the fire and apparently a dog was rescued and we just wanted acknowledge him and say thanks,” Craig Richardson said. “Although there was some risk involved and, although we don’t always encourage people to intervene in dangerous situations, in this case his action helped the outcome.”

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