Things can get really hot whenever it gets really cold.
Fire departments across the region had a busy week responding to heat sources that got warmer than homeowners ever wanted.
“It’s really busy. Everybody has frozen pipes so they use heating methods that don’t work out,” said Bouchie Lake Volunteer Fire Department (BLVFD) chief Jeff Lefebvre, describing the typical problem.
He and his crew had just returned from a structure fire and were assessing the damage to their own equipment.
“It was minus-40 so we had issues,” Lefebvre said. “Our hoses didn’t like it, our pumps didn’t like it, but we made it all work.”
The fire destroyed a sea can workshop with additional structure built around it. A malfunction with a wood stove is believed to have caused the blaze, but that wasn’t the worst part for responders. Lefebvre explained that, as a typical local workshop often does, there were acetylene welding bottles present, and they indeed did explode. There was also firearm ammunition stored there that also went off.
“We responded with three apparatus and five members and centred our efforts on preventing collateral damage,” Lefebvre said. “The home structure was about 15 yards away, so it was definitely in danger but we prevented that from happening, it was close but didn’t sustain any damage.”
A couple of vehicles were also nearby and were not destroyed either, although some component melting is believed to have occurred.
The same day, said Lefebvre, the BLVFD provided mutual aid to the Quesnel Fire Department, which had, he believed, five calls of their own, along with other known callouts by the area’s other volunteer fire departments who had activity of their own.