Vancouver Crews Faced Challenges During Riots

Following the Vancouver Canucks 4-0 loss to the Boston Bruins in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup finals on Wednesday, rioters took the streets smashing windows and setting fire to trash cans and police cruisers.

While police officers had shields to protect themselves from the garbage and bottles being thrown, firefighters did not have the luxury or such tools.

One firefighter was even struck by a rioter.

A cell phone video was posted on YouTube that shows a firefighter being confronted by a man who yells obscenities at him before punching him in the face.

As the firefighter attempts to escort the man away from the scene, he is punched in the face as a crowd looks on. The firefighter stays calm and doesn't retaliate.

Vancouver Assistant Operations Chief Wade Pierlot told News1130 that firefighters were out of their element and had to cope the best they could.

"The angry crowd is something we're not exposed to very often," he said. "It was new to many of us, a new experience for us."

He said that rocks and bottles were thrown at fire trucks and that some firefighters were forced to run to safety.

The dense crowds made it difficult for crews to get to certain areas and Pierlot thanked those civilians who pushed garbage bin and dumpster fire away from buildings.