• John Jantak

Vaudreuil-Dorion emergency crews tackle incident and fire within 24 hours


PHOTO BY JOHN JANTAK

Vaudreuil-Dorion firefighters were kept busy within a 24-hour period responding to an incident at an industrial company on October 30 and a minor fire at a shopping block on October 31.

In the first incident, emergency personnel were dispatched at 6:05 a.m. to a general alarm of a reported building fire at 900 Rue Valois. As firefighters evaluated the scene upon arrival, they discovered smoke coming from a pile of nickel concentrate.

“We did some research on the product before intervening and we found that it was reactive with water,” Operations Fire Chief John Boudreau told Your Local Journal.

Product stabilized

Boudreau said the crew obtained a loader from the city. The pile was removed, placed outside and spread out on the ground. “It was overheating from a small reaction, possibly from the floor or the humidity inside the building. By bringing it outside, it stopped reacting, cooled off and became stable,” said Boudreau.

Firefighters spent almost five hours on scene to properly assess the situation and make sure the product was properly stabilized. “It was a situation that lasted a long time because we couldn’t put water on it inside. We always have to do research on a product. If we had put water on it, it would have reacted even more,” said Boudreau.

PHOTO BY JOHN JANTAK

Vaudreuil-Dorion firefighters put on protective gear during an incident at an industrial building at 900 rue Valois on Monday, October 30.

Officials from the provincial environment ministry were also called. “They took some samples for analysis. We always call them when there’s a large amount of a product or if a tanker is involved. They have the expertise to always assist us,” said Boudreau.

Adjacent businesses were never evacuated during incident. “We were monitoring the air quality with gas detectors the whole time. There were no abnormal readings. When we brought the product outside, we were always monitoring it and there were no dangerous fumes,” Boudreau said.

Isolated incident

“It was an isolated incident fortunately. They’ve had that product for the past 12 years and they never had any problems when they manipulate it. The only change now is the product comes with a sort of plastic in it and it’s put through a strainer to remove the plastic,” said Boudreau.

“This is something new that they’re doing but I don’t see how that could have caused the reaction that occurred. It was most probably the humidity on the ground or around the product in the building that started the small reaction. It’s the first time this has happened,” Boudreau added.

He said people shouldn’t be alarmed. “Whenever we have these interventions, it always takes a little bit longer,” said Boudreau. “We want to make sure we’re doing the right thing. We don’t want to expose the firefighters or the citizens to anything. We always make sure to take the proper precautions before intervening.”

Commercial building fire

irefighters were also dispatched early Tuesday morning to a small fire at a four-unit, ground-level commercial strip at 296 Boulevard Harwood. The blaze was confined to a small section of the roof at the rear of the building. There was also minor smoke and water damage. The cause was apparently electrical.

PHOTO BY JOHN JANTAK

Shop owner Lucy Arts stands outside her store damaged store front after an early-morning fire at a commercial unit at 296 Harwood Boulevard on Tuesday, October 31.

Building owner Kim Shieh said police in a passing patrol car noticed smoke and alerted the fire department. Shieh was extremely distressed as she pointed to a gaping hole in the roof at the rear. “This is the first time in 15 years that I’ve owned the building something like this happened. I spent $140,000 for a new roof and now it’s finished,” she said.

For smoking-accessory store owner Lucy Arts, the fire didn’t do any significant damage to her shop. “We opened last December. Our customers are quite loyal. They keep coming back. After a bit of a clean-up, we’re hoping to be back up and running soon. We serve medical patients and they need their smoking accessories,” said Arts.

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