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UPDATE: Evacuation order lifted for Kitimat’s Service Centre

Kitimat Fire Department has evacuated a 1.6 kilometre area of Kitimat due to concerns of a fire at a mechanical shop. Google Maps photo

The district has lifted the evacuation order in the Service Centre district, following a fire yesterday at a mechanical shop, and concerns over a punctured, high-pressure cylinder.

The Kitimat Fire and Ambulance Service are now evaluating the circumstances that lead to the puncture, and what measures might be taken to prevent future occurrences.

The department received the initial call to the fire at 10:10 a.m., on April 4, to Zanron Mechanical Services on Third Street when they were alerted to dangerous conditions, as the fire was originating from the puncture.

The fire department has not yet disclosed the contents of the cylinder.

Due to the threat to public safety, the area was evacuated as fire crews attempted to cool the cylinder and keep the fire contained while the flammable material burned off.

“Our first priority is always the safety and well-being of our community,” Kitimat Fire Chief Trent Bossence said. “The quick and decisive response from emergency services played a crucial role in managing the situation and preventing further escalation.”

During the initial response, police and firefighters had walked door to door to issue the evacuation order, blocking off access to Enterprise Avenue, Industrial Avenue, Fourth Street and Third Street. Shortly thereafter the evacuation was expanded to a 1.6-km radius.

Staff at the Northern Sentinel, located within the Service Centre, were told the order would be in place for 24-hours, however the district soon scaled back that time frame. The evacuation area was also reduced to a 200-metre perimeter within about one hour.

At the time a district spokesperson said crews had the fire quickly under control and stressed the evacuation order was issued only as a precaution.

The evacuation order was lifted in its entirety by 3:50 p.m.

About the Author: Quinn Bender

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