Multiple Alarm Fire in Port Colborne

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Multiple fire departments were called to Vinyl Works Canada on Barber Dr, Port Colborne on Tuesday, February 6, 2018.

The fire department was called in shortly before 8 am to the 200 x 75 foot building. Vinyl Works Canada produces vinyl for patio furniture. The south end of the building was enflamed and progressed very quickly. There was heavy fire involvement right from the beginning. There was no way to fight the fire from the inside, so it was fought defensively from the outside. About 10 minutes into the fire the building partially collapsed. The whole building has now collapsed.

Two aerial trucks one from Port Colborne and one from Welland were used to combat the fire. Along with 55 firefighters on the scene.

Mike Bendia, Deputy Fire Chief said, “In act of mutual aid we have departments here from just about everyone in the Niagara Region, providing takers, man power and pumpers.”

The difficult fire fighting operation is that it is very cold, and is a hard situation on the personnel. With all of the water forming into ice, they have to be careful with not only the fire fighters but also their vehicles on the ice. Once firefighters get wet they are then exposed to the elements and it is very cold and this takes a toll on them. A Welland Transit bus has been brought in as a warming shelter for the firefighters.

Water had to be shuttled from the Mellanby Ave Fire Station to the scene. Tanker trucks had to back in the long lane way to get to the fire. A barrier was put in place to help ensure that no run off from the fire entered the Welland Canal.

“There is nothing that has gotten into the canal at this time and there is no jeopardy to the water supply,” Bendia stated.

There were some small explosions during the fire from propane cylinders from inside the building.

Currently they are making headway on the fire, the plume is definitely less than what it was before. Operations are continuing and looking to bring in some heavy equipment.

“Once the heavy equipment is in place, plans are to extinguish everything that is one the ground. Which is going to be a very lengthy task,” said Bendia.

On-site is the Regional Fire Co-ordinator, Ministry of the Environment and the Ontario Fire Marshal has been contacted.

“what surprised me is how fast the fire progressed, very quickly from the time I arrived,” said Mike Bendia, Acting Fire Chief.

Due to the large plume of smoke from the fire, Niagara Regional Police were checking the area constantly to make sure smoke was not banking down around houses. Most of the smoke is blowing up and away, but the fire department would like to keep everyone safe. All residents of Port Colborne and Fort Erie are urged to stay indoors and keep all doors and windows closed.

“I imagine we will be here for a while, the better part of today and into the evening and tonight,” Bendia stated.

Working to cover the City of Port Colborne at this time is a Wainfleet rescue truck, a Fort Erie Pumper, along with a few of our own firefighters.

No injuries have been reported at this time.

No comment on the cause of the fire at this time.



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