19 January 2016
Car fires are particularly expensive, according to the town, because they often need to be put out with firefighting foam, not just water.
Lewisporte only had one car fire last year, but it cost roughly $600 in foam to extinguish it.
Mayor Brian Sceviour said the town has been making insurance claims on car fires for a while, but has sometimes been lax on following through.
“It’s a legitimate claim. Several other communities are doing it anyway, so at least [this policy] puts us on the same footing as other towns,” said Sceviour
Other communities doing the same
Duane Antle, president of Newfoundland and Labrador Association of Fire Services, says communities have been recovering costs on car fires since the early 2000s.
He said that given the economic situation, more communities are going to have to consider making it a policy to file insurance claims on car fires.
“For a small community, I think it’s only reasonable to expect that they’d have to try to recover some of their costs, given the level of service that they provide to somebody,” he said.
“Especially rural communities, it’s very expensive to keep a fire department going these days.”