By Lethbridge Herald on June 16, 2018.
Half a million dollars in damage is being reported, but the situation could have been much worse Saturday morning during a fire at the City of Lethbridge’s northside bus yard, says the deputy fire chief.
“This morning, right around 10 o’clock, one of the transit workers noticed heavy smoke coming from one of the buses inside of the bus barns,” said Gerrit Sinke, deputy chief with the Lethbridge Fire Department, on scene Saturday afternoon.
Due to the potential risk involved with buses, fuel and staff on site at the 4 Avenue North location, 22 LFD members with five apparatus and four EMS units from four stations all responded.
“When our crews made entrance to the building, they did notice heavy smoke inside the entire facility,” Sinke said. “They did find that the fire was contained to one transit bus; however, there will be damage to several other buses in the vicinity. The damage inside of the facility and to the buses will be mostly because of smoke damage.”
There were no injuries to any employees. Damage to the bus is reported at $200,000, with smoke damage to the facility being reported at $300,000.
The cause of the fire remains under investigation by fire investigators.
“Our first priority is always to ensure that the public is safe,” Sinke said.
“Second, we wanted to make sure there was as little damage as possible. And, third, we wanted to ensure that there was no contamination going into the environment. We did have a little bit of a diesel spill coming from one of the buses, but we were able to contain that.”
Following the fire, the City said there would some delays to transit while the situation was being sorted. Anybody who uses Lethbridge Transit or Access-A-Ride is being encouraged to check updated schedules at myridelethbridge.ca.
Emergency crews had the scene cleared by 1 p.m., but remained on site to monitor.
“This situation definitely could have been a lot worse than it was,” Sinke said.
“I just want to credit the 22 fire personnel that arrived on scene — mitigated the incident as quickly as they possible could. I also want to thank City Public Works, City Transit and Facilities that were on scene very quickly and were very willing to help out where they could.”
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