Fire on Yale Road started in fabric laser-cutting machine. (Chilliwack Progress file)

Fire on Yale Road started in fabric laser-cutting machine. (Chilliwack Progress file)

Workers tried to put out machine fire at Chilliwack industrial business on Yale Road

Use of portable fire extinguishers ‘made a tremendous difference,’ in containing blaze, say officials

When fire broke out in an industrial business on Yale Road late Tuesday afternoon, employees rushed to put it out themselves with fire extinguishers.

Chilliwack Fire Department officials say firefighters from fire halls 1 and 4 responded to a structure fire in the 44000 block of Yale Rd called out at 6 p.m. on March 29.

When crews arrived, they found a single-storey industrial complex “fully charged” with heavy black smoke, according to Michael Bourdon, assistant fire chief.

Crews were met on-scene by employees who told them a laser cutting machine used for fabric had caught fire.

“The employees’ quick actions made a tremendous difference in confining the fire to the fabric laser cutting machine,” said Bourdon.

The workers tried to put it out themselves with portable fire extinguishers until the smoke became too thick and they were forced to exit the building to await firefighters.

Fire crews quickly gained entry and were able to extinguish the small fire in the machine.

The laser cutting machinery suffered extensive fire damage and the building sustained smoke damage throughout.

There were no civilian or firefighter injuries.

The cause of the fire was deemed accidental.

“Chilliwack Fire Department want to remind business owners, that well-maintained fire protection equipment like fire extinguishers that are properly used, can help reduce fire loss,” Bourdon added.

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