A Canadian fire department is facing 18 separate lawsuits seeking a total of $10 million in damages arising out of a wildland fire that occurred last spring. Halifax Regional Municipality and the Halifax Regional Fire & Emergency Service were sued in the Nova Scotia Supreme Court on April 28, 2010.
The suits were filed by insurance companies seeking to recoup claims paid to homeowners after a wildland fire on April 29-30, 2009 drove 1,200 people from their homes, destroying eight homes and damaging 10 others homes. The suits allege negligence in fighting the fire.
The plaintiffs claim that the fire department left hotspots unattended during which time the winds picked up spreading the fire. They also allege that effective command was not established, requests for resources were delayed, and air support was not requested soon enough.
Halifax fire spokesman Dave Meldrum is quoted as saying "We're concerned with all the allegations. We think that they're wrong, and they're incorrect, and we will defend them in court… That day was a tragic circumstance. Our firefighters put themselves on the line, they worked long hours, they trained hard hours, to protect life and to protect property."