Fire-rescue crews kept hopping

Local emergency calls climb over past eight weeks

This blaze was a close save by someone at the Sundial Apartments wielding a water bucket and a quick response by 100 Mile Fire-Rescue crews. Fire chief Darrell blades says it is not yet clear if the fire was set deliberately or if it ignited accidentally.

This blaze was a close save by someone at the Sundial Apartments wielding a water bucket and a quick response by 100 Mile Fire-Rescue crews. Fire chief Darrell blades says it is not yet clear if the fire was set deliberately or if it ignited accidentally.

100 Mile House Fire-Rescue has been kept busy in May and June, assisting with motor-vehicle crashes, medical emergencies and fires.

Chief Darrell Blades says crews responded to a blaze reported shortly after midnight on June 3 at Exco Industries on the Exeter Truck Route.

When crews were called out for a fire alarm at the local business they responded with three trucks, a command vehicle and 13 members, he notes.

Blades adds that, upon arrival, firefighters found the building on fire with a lot of heavy smoke, but not too many flames remaining.

“Luckily, all the interior doors were closed in the building. So the fire basically consumed all it could in the hallway and reception area, and was contained in there.”

This limited structural damage to the first floor with smoke damage throughout other parts of the building, he explains.

Regarding reports that fuel was used to ignite the building, he notes only that the fire is of a suspicious nature and an RCMP investigation is underway.

“I don’t know if we have identified the combustible liquid.”

A fire broke out in a pile of rubbish the next evening, on June 4, that ignited the wall of the Sundial Apartments building on Birch Avenue.

“It burnt up the side of the building. There was a property management person there, throwing buckets of water on it trying to keep it down, so it was actioned quickly by fire crews and there was minimal damage.”

Since they were all gathered at the fire hall for practice that evening, a large group of about 18 firefighters and three engines turned out, he notes.

“We got quite lucky with that one because if it would have got into the roof, it would have been a different story.”

Blades says it is not yet clear if that fire was accidental or intentionally set, but the cause is under investigation.

On June 11, 18 members with three engines responded to a fire in the press at the Ainsworth OSB plant that was under control by the mill crew when fire crews arrived, he adds.

“It was maintenance day and they were doing cleanup on the press, and they had some debris left over at the base of the press that ignited.

“Because of their cleanup efforts, the fire was very minimal and didn’t go anywhere. We just checked for hot spots and didn’t have to action [any], so it was a good outcome.”

The local fire chief adds May and June have been “abnormally busy” at his department.

“We have been at more than a call a day average. So, I’ve got a stack of paperwork here to catch up on.”

100 Mile House Free Press