Here’s something you don’t see every day: firefighters rescuing large flightless birds from a vehicle that caught fire at the junction of Alpine Lane and the Trans-Canada Highway at 3:23 am on Monday, December 7.
“Upon arrival, fire crews found a pickup engulfed in flames and commenced suppression operations,” Fire Chief Rob Girard said in a statement. “During the fire attack, we observed two large birds escape the box of the pickup truck and run Eastbound.”
The birds were Rheas — large flightless birds from the pampas of Argentina, Chile, Paraguay, Uruguay, Brazil and Peru.
The human occupant was safely out of the vehicle when fire crews first arrived on scene. However, ducks being transported in the rear seat of the vehicle did not survive the fire, Girard said.
Firefighters extinguished and overhauled the vehicle fire in just under 20 minutes, with no injuries to any of the 17 responding Fire Personnel. The Fire Rescue Service responded with one fire truck, tender No. 5, and one command vehicle.
Girard said the driver was assisted in finding lodging and that Emergency Social Services Coordinator Gary Sulz helped get the birds to the Animal Shelter.
As to the cause, the chief indicated that the fire was an undetermined electrical/mechanical fire.