Four firefighters taken to hospital after coal silo blaze at Lehigh Hanson Materials cement plant

Four firefighters taken to hospital after coal silo blaze at Lehigh Hanson Materials cement plant, reports the Edmonton Journal.

Emergency crews responded to a fire at the Lehigh Hanson Materials Limited cement plant, 12640 Inland Way, in Edmonton Alta. on Tuesday. Four firefighters were transported to hospital as a precautionary measure.

EMS was called to the Lehigh Hanson plant after a report of a firefighter being injured as crews worked on an 11:30am fire in a coal silo, said Edmonton Fire Rescue spokeswoman Jill McKenzie. The firefighter who was reported injured was one of the four taken to hospital for precautionary reasons, she said.

Lehigh Hanson health and safety director Gerry Sanderson said the fire was still burning as of 3 p.m. but it was under control. He said he believed the crews were on the roof of the silo, trying to douse it with water, when the first firefighter was reported as injured.

“What I’m told is that they inhaled possibly some (carbon monoxide) or some potential gas,” Sanderson said. The only way to access the silo would be through vents and doors, he added.

“It’s just a smouldering fire, there were no flames or anything like that. It was just a lot of smoke,” he said.
Sanderson added that this type of incident is very uncommon.

“In my time here, I’ve never seen it,” Sanderson said, adding that an investigation into the cause is underway.  He said the plant wasn’t shut down or evacuated, and that the fire had been contained, with damage to the facility appearing to be minimal.

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