PAB Fire Dept. responds to blaze on Marine Drive; RCMP investigating.
By Jaymie L. White
Special to Wreckhouse Press Inc.
PORT AUX BASQUES – On Wednesday morning, Apr. 27, the Channel-Port Aux Basques Volunteer Fire Department responded to a call about a shed fire. Fire Chief Jerry Musseau said the call came in around 10:00 a.m.
“I was in Grand Bay, so I was a little bit later getting there, but the fire truck was on scene probably within five minutes. I haven’t talked to the guy down there to see how long, but I’d say within five minutes.”
The fire station is only one street over, and Musseau said that by the time he arrived the truck was already pumping out water so there couldn’t have been much of a delay.
The fire, which took place on Marine Drive in Port Aux Basques, was contained to the shed and did not spread to any nearby structures.
“You’ve got to remember too, we’re volunteers and we’ve got to leave our home or workplaces and get to the fire station, get the trucks out of the garage and to the scene,” said Musseau. “When I arrived on scene, there was a lot of heavy smoke coming from the shed fire. Flames were coming out through the roof and the sides, and heavy smoke was going toward the area of the post office parking lot.”
Musseau said both the RCMP and Mackenzie Ambulance Service were on the scene as well.
“Just as a precaution for the ambulance, in case anybody got injured while firefighting because there was no report of injuries when the call came in. So they’re there just in case someone may get hurt while fighting the fire, whatever the case may be. The RCMP was there and there was an investigation once the fire was all knocked down.”
Musseau said it wasn’t long before the fire department had the blaze under control.
“I’d say it was knocked down in about 20 minutes, maybe 25 minutes or so, and then we kept putting the water on for the hot spots just to make sure it wouldn’t flare up again.”
Musseau said he is uncertain as to what might have caused the fire.
“The RCMP will investigate that. There was no stove in there going or anything like that, so I’m not sure what ignited the fire to start it.”
Musseau said there were flammable items in the shed, some of which combusted in the fire.
“There was a propane tank in there. Whether it blew or not it was hard to say, and there was also a gas can in there and I know that blew by the sound of things, but that happened just before I got there. I did see the tank after the fire was out and it didn’t seem like it was glowing or anything like that.”
Musseau said that even though the fire was out in a short time, the fire department remained on scene after it was extinguished to work on the hot spots and clean up their gear. He reported that overall there were no issues with the fire and it was a successful day for the fire department.
“The weather co-operated because there was no wind. Because if there was wind, the shed wasn’t too far away from the house that is on the same piece of property. That house had a little bit of siding that seemed to have buckled a bit from the heat, but nothing major. The smoke and the flames were going almost in the direction of that house across the parking lot by the post office, so if there was any wind it could’ve been a lot worse.”
Musseau said there are precautions that have to be taken when arriving at a shed fire because there could be gasoline, propane, and other such materials that could cause more hazardous conditions for those on scene. He said gas and propane are items that almost everybody has stored around, so just to take the necessary precautions to ensure fire safety.
“Don’t leave anything unattended if you were into the shed and doing any work. Make sure nothing is left on or burning – any precautions you would take for anything with fire safety. In this case there was no stove, so it couldn’t have been caused by a stove because there was nothing in there going. There was mostly material like wood in there, an ATV in there that was destroyed, and a bit of gas and a propane tank. All I can say on that part is just be careful. If you’re working around and have anything stored in the shed, just be cautious with flammable products.”
In response to email inquiries, the RCMP released the following:
“The RCMP received a report of a shed fire on Marine Drive in Port aux Basques this morning at approximately 9:30 a.m. The cause of the fire remains under investigation at this time. Anyone who may have been in the area having information about the fire is asked to contact the detachment.”