Ethanol Fire in Port Coquitlam Rail Yard

DISCLAIMER: Information provided is based on reports received by Emergency Management B.C. Information provided is considered to be current at the time of posting, but is subject to change as new information becomes available.

Incident Description

Incident Date January 22, 2018
Name Ethanol Fire in Port Coquitlam Rail Yard
Source Tanker Truck
Nearest Community Port Coquitlam 
Spilled Content Ethanol
Who is involved? Emergency Management B.C., Ministry of Environment & Climate Change Strategy, Fraser Health Authority, City of Port Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam Fire & Emergency Services Department, Canadian Pacific Railway, Coquitlam RCMP, BC Emergency Health Services


Response Phase Detail

The responsible person or spiller is legally required to clean-up or manage the clean-up of a spill. In incidents where the responsible person is unknown, unable or unwilling to manage the clean up, the Ministry of Environment & Climate Change Strategy (MOE) may assume the role. The updates below reflect the Ministry’s oversight of the spillers’ actions; details describe the spill response phase, only, and not the complete lifecycle of the spill. See More Information for other related reports. 

Updates are in reverse chronological order, with the most recent at the top. Industry-specific language may be explained in the Glossary of Terms (PDF).

Most Recent Update

January 23, 2018 - 8:35 am

A tanker truck carrying ethanol collided with a train at the rail yard in Port Coquitlam last night, causing the tanker truck and locomotive to burst into flames. The City of Port Coquitlam reports that no one was injured in the collision or as a result of the fire. 

Train cars were pulled away from the burning locomotive and fire crews were able to prevent the fire from spreading to the fuel tanks. The Lougheed Highway (Hwy 7) was closed as a precaution. 

Responders determined the safest course of action was to let the fire occurring at the tanker truck to burn out. The ethanol was said to be burning completely. This complete burn lessens the amount of smoke and fumes coming from the site. An air monitoring contractor was called in as a precaution.

Tactical evacuations were undertaken, however, the area surrounding the incident site is mainly commercial with few residences. Everyone who was evacuated was allowed to return home last night.

The fire was extinguished overnight and the Lougheed Highway was re-opened to traffic this morning. Initial environmental assessments find that no product was released to ground. A vacuum truck removed an estimated 1,500 L of remaining product from the tanker truck this morning.

Fraser Health Authority, the Tsleil-waututh First Nation and the Coquitlam First Nations were all notified of this incident. 

Incident Location: