Firefighters had to decontaminate gear after fire

Medical marijuana production trailer went up in stinky smoke

While it may not look like much of a blaze, firefighters have to be extremely careful when they are called out to a marijuana grow operation because they have no way of knowing what chemicals are in the fertilizer. When they're finished knocking down the fire and mopping up hot spots, fire crews have to thoroughly decontaminate their gear and equipment.

While it may not look like much of a blaze, firefighters have to be extremely careful when they are called out to a marijuana grow operation because they have no way of knowing what chemicals are in the fertilizer. When they're finished knocking down the fire and mopping up hot spots, fire crews have to thoroughly decontaminate their gear and equipment.

100 Mile House Fire-Rescue members were busy last week with three callouts.

The most time-consuming callout was a Feb. 12 fire involving a couple of connected ATCO railers that were being used for a licensed medical marijuana operation.

Fire-Rescue chief Darrell Blades says his department got the callout around 4 p.m. to provide mutual aide to the Lone Butte Fire Department (LBFD) for the fire that was in the 7500 block on highway 24 around two kilometres west of Lone Butte.

The LBFD responded with eight member, an engine and two tenders (water trucks). Fire-Rescue attended with eight members, an engine, a tender and a command vehicle.

Blades says the fire was knocked down from outside the building, but a couple of teams had to enter the building to mop up hotspots because they couldn’t be reached from the outside.

The priority with a grow-op fire is [to fight it from the outside], but we couldn’t effectively reach it from the exterior. We went in very cautiously and carefully.”

The teams were wearing full protective equipment, including self-contained breathing apparatus – all of which had to be decontaminated.

There wasn’t a problem with the blaze – other than it was a grow-op, which are high-risk fires, Blades explains.

Noting they were at the scene for about two-and-a-half hours, the fire chief says they spent just as much time decontaminating their equipment.

We don’t know what chemicals are in the fertilizers and stuff, so we had to thoroughly clean all of our gear and do a mass decontamination of all of our equipment. So, the guys stripped down, put everything in the back of pickup, brought it into town, stripped the equipment apart and washed it all. It’s a big process, but we have to have it decontaminated before we go to the next callout.”

 

Logging truck versus car

The two fire departments were called out just after noon on Feb. 13 for a two-vehicle incident between a logging truck and an automobile on Taylor Lake Road off Highway 24.

Blades notes there wasn’t much to do at the scene because the person was already out of the vehicle when fire crews arrived.

We helped get him into the ambulance, made sure the vehicle was safe and waited until the tow truck came.

When we left the scene, they were getting ready to move stuff, so I don’t think the road would have been closed for too long of a time.”

Noting 100 Mile House Fire-Rescue provides the highway rescue for the entire South Cariboo, Blades says the LBFD went as the responding fire department and 100 Mile went as highway rescue response.

 

Kitchen fire

Around 1 a.m. on Feb. 9, Fire-Rescue responded to a kitchen fire that started on the stove at a Dogwood Crescent home.

Blades adds it appears some burners were left on and it flared to cause some damage to the stove and the microwave fans. The residents were down stairs when it flared up, he adds.

Six members responded to the scene with one engine with a duty officer and one was at the hall. They had it cleaned up quickly, Blades says.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

100 Mile House Free Press