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Axe attack on firefighters

Two volunteer firefighters were left traumatized after attending a nightmare call on a remote Gulf Island.

Doug Chinnery was one of the firefighters who responded to a call about an out-of-control backyard fire on Hornby Island last week.

"What I didn’t really expect was someone running out of the backyard, grabbing an axe from the chopping block, and then chasing after me,” he told CTV News.

When the men ran away from the property, they narrowly escaped a deadly attack.

“Before we got out of the driveway, I heard the axe clang on the ground behind us after he had thrown it,” Chinnery said.

The firefighters called a neighbor who drove them to safety. When the RCMP arrived soon after, they found an even more dangerous situation.

Police removed gas cans and propane bottles found strapped to Chinnery’s personal car. The vehicle was also spray-painted and the tail light was smashed out.

Chief Gifford La Rose of Hornby Island Fire Rescue said while fire crews are poised for emergency situations, they don’t expect this level of terror.

“We know we have to be prepared for everything,” he said. “We sure don’t want to find out everything, [or] want to walk into everything – into danger.”

The man suspected of the attack is known to have mental health issues.

He was arrested and taken off the island. No charges have been laid.

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