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Punctured fuel tank leads to fire in Salmon Arm hotel parking lot

Fire chief says finding ‘consistent with someone trying to steal fuel’
Salmon Arm firefighters responded to reports of a brush and possible truck fire behind the Comfort Inn on Monday, May 13, 2024. (Photo contributed)

Police are investigating a fire that occurred in a Salmon Arm hotel parking lot on Monday morning.

Around 11:30 a.m. on May 13, the Salmon Arm Fire Department responded to a brush fire behind the Comfort Inn at 1090 22nd Street NE. As firefighters were heading to the scene, the call was upgraded to a brush fire with a truck involved.

The blaze was located by the northeast corner of the hotel’s rear parking lot. Fire Chief Brad Shirley said firefighters were quick to extinguish the blaze in the brush along with diesel fuel burning around the front end of a parked truck.

After extinguishing the fire, Shirley said a puncture mark was located on the truck’s fuel tank, “which is consistent with someone trying to steal fuel.” Shirley said the RCMP were notified and are investigating.

“We found some other evidence around there,” said Shirley. “I don’t know what would have caused the actual ignition of the fuel, but there was definitely fuel leaking from the truck and that’s what was on fire.”

Asked if the situation required notifying the neighbouring elementary school, Shirley said no, that the fire was knocked down fairly quickly.

RCMP confirmed a fuel tank on the truck had been “punched,” and that fuel leaked onto the ground, but could not say how the fire started.

“Police canvassed the area for video but were unable to find any…,” said Const. Andrew Hodges, adding there are no suspects and the police file is closed.

Story updated on Tuesday, May 14

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Lachlan Labere

About the Author: Lachlan Labere

Editor, Salmon Arm Observer
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