Strong west winds help fire crews at Rockford blaze
Owen Sound The Sun Times
 
While the strong winds that blew through Grey-Bruce late Saturday caused havoc to the power grid across the region, they were a blessing for firefighters who were called to a fire at a fuel supply business at Rockford.
 
Inter Township Acting Fire Chief Jeff Gautreau said they were called to a truck fire in the compound at MacDonnell Fuels at about 5:30 p.m. Due to the potential severity of the situation, the Inter Township department was dispatched along with the Chatsworth and Meaford fire departments.
 
“When we arrived it was just the tractor of the truck that was on fire and the wind and everything was in our favour,” Gautreau said Sunday morning. “The only damage sustained was to the transport truck itself with a little damage to a pickup beside it due to the heat.”

Gautreau said the truck was attached to a fuel tank, but fortunately it was empty, and the wind was blowing the fire away from it and everything else combustible.

“Mother Nature was on our side,” Gautreau. “It pushed the fire away from everything.

“If you are going to get a strong wind and it is going to help you, that was the perfect scenario.”

Highway 6 and 10 and Grey Rd. 18 were closed around the scene of the fire, which was just south of the Rockford intersection on the west side of the highway. Traffic was rerouted as a safety precaution. Gautreau said because of the wind was coming out of the west, it was causing smoke to blow across the highway.

“EMS were on standby in case they were needed,” Gautreau said, adding there were no injuries from the fire.

The initial knockdown of the fire was from outside the compound and once the fire was under control Gautreau said they were able to move crews into the compound to finish putting out the blaze.

At this time the cause of the blaze is undetermined. The OPP has confirmed that it is not considered suspicious.

Gautreau thanked the fire departments from Meaford, Chatsworth and Owen Sound, which was also on standby, for all their help on the call.

Saturday evening, Hydro One was reporting that more than 280,000 customers had experienced power outages from the high winds, with gusts of over 100 kilometres per hour that were blowing across the province.

Significant damage was being reported, including broken poles, fallen trees and hazardous road conditions. Staff were being brought in from other areas not affected by the storm to assist with assessing damage and restoring power.

Dozens of outages were being reported across Grey-Bruce.  By late Sunday morning there were still dozens of outages being reported in most areas of the two counties. In many instances restoration was anticipated to be restored later on Sunday afternoon and evening, while in several other cases crews were assessing the damage.

 

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