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UPDATE Fire and ice: Quesnel arena scene of small blaze

The concession area of West Fraser Centre was cooking with firefighters

West Fraser Centre was home to hot ringette action, throughout the Winter Games, but that isn’t why the fire department rushed in on Tuesday (Feb. 27) morning.

The main Quesnel arena was the scene of a fire. The built-in sprinkler system kicked on, spraying water on the initial heat source. Firefighters were not faced with significant flames, when the 11 responders got there at 11:15 a.m.

“Upon arrival we had large amounts of smoke on the second floor around the concession area,” said Quesnel Fire Department chief Ron Richert. “Firefighters quickly extinguished the remainder of the fire which was mostly suppressed by the sprinkler system. The building was closed, and fans were used to extract the smoke.”

“It was a small fire that was localized in the concession area,” said City of Quesnel manager Byron Johnson. “We’re still doing some investigating around that, we’re not exactly sure (of the cause), but it was centred right around the stove in the concession area, which is where the fire started. Fortunately that is right underneath a sprinkler head and it engaged and kept the fire under control until the fire department got there.”

The incident produced only a small amount of fire damage, a small amount of smoke damage, and a larger but not overwhelming amount of water damage. A cleanup crew was on-scene by early Tuesday afternoon already mopping and fixing the effects on the second floor and also where it seeped to the bottom floor.

“What it shows is, the systems work, that all the technology you pay for actually works,” Johnson said. “The timing was nice that it didn’t happen during the Games.”

The damage shouldn’t take West Fraser Centre out of operation for more than couple of days, Johnson estimated.

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Frank Peebles

About the Author: Frank Peebles

I started my career with Black Press Media fresh out of BCIT in 1994, as part of the startup of the Prince George Free Press, then editor of the Lakes District News.
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