It’s not known what caused an extensive fire at Crosbie Industrial Services Ltd. on Logy Bay Road this morning, but fortunately the building and nearby businesses were evacuated quickly and no one was injured.
Supt. Don Byrne of the St. John’s Regional Fire Department said the call came in around 9:23 a.m.
“On arrival our trucks from Central and Kent’s Pond stations were met with heavy smoke, a large body of fire in the building behind us,” Byrne told reporters at the scene.
The blaze broke out in a building behind Crosbie Industrial’s offices. Byrne said the building was used to store used materials from offshore oil activity, such as contaminated hydrocarbons and drilling muds.
“If you look over my left shoulder you’ll see all the tanks,” Byrne said, referring to several huge green tanks that contain drilling muds that were being pumped through the building to be decontaminated and then disposed of.
“It’s a multitude of things we’re dealing with here,” Byrne said.
While the materials in the building were not considered to be highly explosive, Byrne said the firefighters were all wearing breathing apparatus to protect them from the toxic smoke.
“Once the smoke has gone from black to white, that tells you we’ve got it under control and extinguishment is very close at hand.” - Supt. Don Byrne of the St. John's Regional Fire Department
The fire department has asked Crosbie Industrial for detailed material safety data sheets and workplace hazardous materials information on all the materials.
Although smoke was billowing down Logy Bay Road from the fire scene, Byrne said he didn’t believe it posed any toxic hazard for homeowners in the area.
“Once the smoke has gone from black to white, that tells you we’ve got it under control and extinguishment is very close at hand,” Byrne said, about an hour after the fire began.
While firefighters were fighting the blaze, a transformer on an electrical pole began arcing and also caught fire.
Newfoundland Power was called to shut off electricity to allow firefighters to knock down the blaze.
The fire was extinguished shortly after 11 a.m.
An investigation into the cause of the blaze is continuing. Logy Bay Road which was closed from Harding Road to Robin Hood Bay Road is now open to traffic.