EXPLOSION AND FIRE AT CUC
At approximately 11:15 p.m. on Oct. 9, Lacombe Fire responded to a fire inside a chemistry lab at Canadian University College after an explosion and resulting fireball alerted bystanders to call 9-1-1.
Chief Ed Van Delden said the sprinkler suppression system was functioning when crews arrived and firefighters were able to extinguish the fire quickly.
While no one was injured in the blaze, firefighters were checked out at the hospital afterwards as a precaution.
Van Delden said that, while the firefighters showered down and decontaminated after extinguishing the fire, the lab did contain small amounts of several chemical substances that likely remained off-gassing on some of the members’ turnout gear afterwards and were inhaled by the members subsequently, causing some breathing difficulties and eye irritation.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation but Van Delden said that, as the fire was in a chemistry lab it is not beyond the realm of possibility that a chemical reaction was the cause.
He added that it is likely there were reactions taking place while firefighters were extinguishing the fire as well.
Van Delden added assessing the damage and cleaning up the lab may take some time as there are still small amounts of chemicals in the lab that could still be causing some damage. However, hazardous materials teams were called on from Nova Chemicals to make sure the area is safe in the meantime.
TRUCK GOES UP IN FLAMES
Around midnight on Oct. 8, Lacombe Fire Department responded to a vehicle fire outside a residence in Elana Cresc. in Lacombe. The fire progressed quickly and the vehicle, a pick-up truck, was fully engulfed by the time fire crews arrived.
Fire crews worked to extinguish the vehicle and then continued to cool down/extinguish remaining hotspots. Acting Chief Tim Vander Roest said the cause of the fire was unknown and would remain under investigation.
SHED DESTROYED AFTER FIRE
Shortly after 4 a.m. on Oct. 5, Lacombe Fire department responded to a structure fire at a rental property near Sherry’s Restaurant off Hwy. 2A. A shed at the back of the lot had ignited and was fully engulfed in flames by the time fire crews arrived, said Acting Chief Tim Vander Vander Roest.
While the shed was destroyed, Vander Roest said firefighters were able to prevent the flames from spreading to a nearby holiday trailer, although the trailer did suffer some heat damage.
Vander Roest said the blaze was likely caused by an electric heater that was inside the shed at the time. He added Blackfalds Fire was contacted for mutual aid but was stood-down when Lacombe firefighters had the fire under control.
INTERNET SCAM ALERT
There have been some reports of an Internet scam in which a ‘pop-up’ window will appear in a browser bearing the RCMP logo and purporting the RCMP has locked the computer and a fine has been issued.
The RCMP does not issue fines in this manner and has no affiliation with this web ‘pop-up’.
WINTER DRIVING PREP
With winter coming, drivers will soon have to deal with winter roads.
As such the Blackfalds RCMP wish to offer the public a few winter driving tips.
Road conditions can affect travel times, give yourself a bit more time than usual when driving on winter roads. Also, keep emergency supplies like a blanket, candles, shovel, food, water etc. in case something goes wrong and you need to make an extended stay in your vehicle. Check road conditions before leaving and gauge your speed based on them. For longer trips, make sure someone knows your destination, when you plan to arrive and what route you will be taking.