Pitt Meadows fire department responded to 13 calls in 60 minutes on Thursday all related to the weather that included torrential rain and thunder and lightning, causing power failures and traffic mayhem.
The buildings were hit within the core area of Pitt Meadows and two homes had small fires.
"It was very concerning for everyone to be operating out in the open during the storm, particularly investigating the strike on the roof of the apartment, while more lightning was continuously occurring nearby," said Pitt Meadows fire chief Don Jolley.
Surrey dispatch was overwhelmed with calls, Jolley added, so the calls were routed to the firehall and he ended up triaging them and dispatching resources.
All five truck were out with the three permanent fire staff and 15 volunteer firefighters.
"Each apparatus responded completely independently and simultaneously to separate incidents," Jolley said. "This was an unusual experience for us and the crews did an
exceptional job. It validated all the time we spend training all members to assume any role at any time, including that of incident commander."
In Maple Ridge, the three firehall crews were kept busy responding to alarms going off and flooding, but there were no fire calls resulting from the lightning.
The worst flooding was at Maple Meadows Way and Stewart Crescent where there
was about four feet of water, said Maple Ridge assistant fire chief Mark Smitton.
"The drainage just couldn't keep up," he said.
In Pitt Meadows, both new and experienced members of the fire department had to assume responsibility for crew and responding to incidents, Jolley said.
The fire department didn't receive any reports of injuries and there was only minimal damage to two homes.
Two people had to be rescued from elevators.
"Overall, the crews responded to 17 incidents yesterday," Jolley said. "I believe that this is the highest total for a single day that the department has ever had." He added that he was "very proud of the job they did."
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