Welding sparks industrial fire at Chilliwack machinery manufacturer

Fire crews dispatched Friday after fuel ignited in warehouse at Frontline Machinery

A two-alarm structure fire broke out in a Chilliwack industrial park Friday morning.

Chilliwack Fire Department crews from several fire halls were called out to Frontline Machinery Ltd at 43779 Progress Way.

Fire crews were on-scene at about 10:40 a.m. and heavy smoke could be seen venting from a window of the large industrial building.

Once firefighters gained access to the building, they were able to confirm that the sprinkler system had doused the fire.

A worker burned his hand while fighting the fire and was taken to Chilliwack General Hospital for treatment. He was released shortly after.

Welding sparks that ignitied some diesel were believed to be the cause of the fire, according to a worker at the scene, and this was later confirmed by fire department officials.

“The fire is accidental and was started from repair work being done on a piece of heavy machinery,” said Assistant Chief Mike Bourdon.

A welding spark ignited some diesel fuel that had been in a storage container in the warehouse area.

“Fire damage was sustained to the piece of machinery with minor smoke and water damage thorough out the unit,” Bourdon added.

They’re taking the opportunity to urge caution with this type of work.

“Chilliwack Fire Department recommends any operations involving open flames or producing heat and or sparks including cutting; welding, brazing, grinding, soldering, etc. should take proper precautions and controls prior to, during, and subsequent to all hot-work operations.”

There were no firefighter injuries.


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