Arena remains closed for the time being

Manager, contractor and fire chief working to ensure safety

There was a bit of excitement at the South Cariboo Rec. Centre on July 28.

100 Mile House Fire Rescue responded to a fire callout to the arena around 8:30 a.m., and when they arrived, heavy smoke and flames were showing from inside the mechanical/sprinkler room at the rear of the building.

Ten firefighters arrived and they hit the fire hard and fast. After two members worked their way through the dense and black smoke with their thermal imaging camera, located the fire and doused it quickly.

Canlan Ice Sports manager Josh Dickerson says he and Fire Rescue chief Roger Hollander assessed the damage and then it was decided the arena will be closed to the public until it can be determined what caused the fire.

Dickerson says the arena is still closed to the public, but staff is working at the site.

He adds the sprinkler system in the building has a pump to boost up the pressure in the lines.

“The pump runs on diesel in case the electrical power goes out, so we still have a sprinkler system.”

However, the diesel pump caught fire.

“We don’t know why it caught but the good thing is we still had a bit of a sprinkler system, so it helped put the fire out.”

Dickerson says only the pump was on fire and nothing else in the mechanical room got damaged.

“So we were very fortunate, and the quick response by the fire department was key as well.”

He adds a contractor has been brought in to have a look at the damage to determine what needs to be replaced and how long it will take.

“We’re working with Roger [fire chief] to come up with a solution so we can open to the public, which we’re pretty sure that’s going to happen.”

Noting he’s making ice anyway, Dickerson says he has the OK to run equipment because they have a sprinkler system that is running but it’s just not up to full capacity.

The goal is to open up on Aug. 22 because Canlan’s kids summer hockey camp is scheduled for that date.

Canlan had an Extreme Ball Week slated for Aug. 8-12 and Leadership and soccer camps scheduled for next week.

All were slated for the arena, but now they are being run out of the Curling Rink, Dickerson explains.

“We moved them over to the curling rink because it’s on its own separate system. Mostly it’s outside depending on the weather.

“[Arena repairs] are going to take a while because the equipment is probably a month away, we are working with the contractor and fire chief to make sure it’s safe to come into the arena.”