Burning barge loaded with crushed cars sends pall of smoke over Metro Vancouver

SURREY, B.C. — A barge loaded with crushed vehicles is burning in the Fraser River off Surrey, B.C., sending up a towering plume of acrid smoke that is visible over much of Metro Vancouver.

The blaze broke out Friday morning in the fully loaded, 76-metre barge as it was moored just north of the Pattullo Bridge.

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A fireboat from Vancouver was called because firefighters in Surrey could not attack the worst of the flames near the front of the vessel, farthest from shore.

Officials say the fire has worked its way deep into the load of vehicles, and the thick, black smoke represents the burning oil, tires, seats, dashboards and other materials in the crushed vehicles.

The fire was expected to burn much of the day because upper levels of the load needed to be removed to be able to get water on the fire below.

A tweet from Metro Vancouver regional district says anyone affected by the considerable smoke should stay indoors, close all windows and follow the directions of a health-care provider if symptoms are experienced. (News1130, CKNW)

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