By RYAN KING
PORT AUX BASQUES — On Saturday evening, July 17, smoked billowed out from the Grand Bay West industrial park. The Channel-Port aux Basques Volunteer Fire Department were called out to a report of a tractor trailer on fire near C&C Enterprises. Firefighters arrived at approximately 6:30 p.m., where the eight-member crew remained on the site for a full hour.
“There were two tractors, commercial tractors, there were no trailers attached to them. They were parked side by side in C&C Enterprises yard,” said Fire Chief Jerry Musseau. “It was called in that a tractor was on fire down in C&C’s yard.”
However, once the crew assessed the emergency, it turned out that the incident was more extensive than reported.
“When we arrived on scene there were two tractors on fire. It appears that one tractor caught fire, and it ignited that fast, and the smoke and heat set the second tractor on fire,” explained Musseau.
Musseau says the Fire Department is not yet sure what sparked the blaze.
“Nothing that I can say what may have caused it,” admitted Musseau. “But we don’t expect anything suspicious, it didn’t appear to be anyway.”
No individuals were hurt from the fire, and the only damage was to the two commercial vehicles.
“They’re completely wrote off,” stated Musseau.
The Port aux Basques RCMP were also dispatched to the scene at 6:34 p.m. after the fire was reported by someone passing by and came to a similar conclusion.
“We had been on the property. It had been serviced there earlier in the week, down in St. John’s. It had come back here, the check engine light was on, and it was there for servicing. That’s all we know at this point in time. It’s not suspicious in nature,” said RCMP Corporal Colin Helm.
Sandra Allen, owner and manager of C&C Enterprises, did note that while the vehicle had been getting maintenance work, there was nothing to indicate it would catch fire.
“We really don’t know what happened. The truck was used that morning, but he didn’t get that far because we had a problem with her all along. She wasn’t used for a full week, so he used her and took her Saturday morning, because the driver that took her didn’t know that she wasn’t working properly. He got as far as the gas station and had to turn around and come back and parked her there. That was that morning, and then by 6:30 that evening she was on fire,” said Allen.
No one was working at the office at the time, and someone tampering with the vehicles has been ruled out, Allen explained, as the RCMP have reviewed the security footage.
“I mean, we have cameras all around, and the RCMP went back on the cameras, and there was nobody around the truck. Whatever happened, it just shorted out and it caught on fire,” said Allen.
Both vehicles were owned by C&C Enterprises.