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Skip Cable stands with West Kelowna council members. The Lakeview Irrigation District employee will be West Kelowna's honourary torch bearer. (Elisha Dacey - Castanet)
Skip Cable stands with West Kelowna council members. The Lakeview Irrigation District employee will be West Kelowna's honourary torch bearer. (Elisha Dacey - Castanet)

Humble hero to be WK torchbearer

by Elisha Dacey - Story: 51954
Jan 11, 2010 / 10:48 am

Skip Cable doesn't consider what he did heroic.

"I did what needed to be done," says the Field Supervisor for Lakeview Irrigation District. "I didn't really consider it heroic, it was something I had to do."

Cable's heroic actions during the 2009 wildfires were the reason the District of West Kelowna nominated him to be the community torchbearer for the Olympic Torch Relay, a nomination that came through from Vanoc about a month ago.

After being evacuated from his Glenrosa home this past summer, Cable spotted the Rose Valley fire.

Knowing the irrigation district housed eight massive chlorine gas storage tanks near where the fire was burning, Cable jumped in his truck with two firefighters and literally drove through fire to reach the chlorine station.

"The building itself was made of brick, but the roof was made of tar and gravel," says Cable.

Cable managed to put sprinklers on the roof to prevent the roof from catching fire and threatening the tanks below. Had the tanks caught fire and leaked, Cable says, people living in the subdivision below would have been hurt.

"Chlorine gas rolls downhill," says Cable, noting that chlorine gas doesn't burn. "But the chlorine gas could harm a lot of people."

Cable says he wasn't all that scared about driving through the fire. "Trees were candling all around us. ... (the fire) actually singed the magnetics on the side of my truck."

Cable says he isn't nervous about having to run with the torch. "I'm more nervous about facing the camera," he says.

"It really was an act of courage, to drive through the fire," says Mayor Doug Findlater.

"I just hit the gas," says Cable. "I just drove faster. You just deal with the situation as it arrives."

West Kelowna will hold a community torch celebration on Jan. 25 at 6 p.m. at Royal LePage Place. The free event will include a parade of champions, other torchbearers, music, artwork and a free family skate from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Jim Lind Arena.


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