2020-11-04

Fire Marshal’s office investigates Chester incident

by KEITH CORCORAN

A GMC Sierra went up in flames October 28 after a fire ripped through a storage shed full of wood, extended to a parking lot, and consumed the unoccupied truck.

Emergency crews responded to a home at the corner of Queen Street and Union Street in the Village of Chester, where a passerby reported the fire shortly after 9 a.m.

The three-by-two-metre shed containing a "winter's worth" of wood was destroyed, as was the truck, said Everett Hiltz, chief of Chester's volunteer fire department. The truck and shed were on different properties and didn't have the same owners, Hiltz explained to LighthouseNOW.

An investigator with the province's Office of the Fire Marshal (OFM) probed the circumstances and the cause of the incident.

"The fire was found to have started in a storage shed by hot ashes from a woodstove. The official cause is accidental," Krista Higdon, an OFM spokeswoman, told LighthouseNOW in an email October 30.

Meanwhile, Hiltz explained how fire crews attacked the blaze.

"We protected the exposure of a residential propane tank in close proximity; kept that cool, and dealt with the vehicle fire so it didn't spread further into the parking lot and then dealt with the pile of wood," Hiltz said. The 90-kilogram tank did contain an amount of propane, he said.

There was a report of two propane tanks "letting go." Hiltz said a nine-kilogram tank was found in the area with a melted valve, but the noises could have been attributable to other sources.

"There were no explosions beyond typical bangs of a car fire - tires and airbags - if there was any amount of propane in [the smaller tank] it would have done its self-vent."

Volunteer firefighters from Chester Basin assisted Chester crews with extra manpower.

It took less than an hour to get the matter under control and fully extinguished. No one was hurt.

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