Regina fire crews battle overnight industrial fire at compound north of Evraz Steel

·2 min read
The Regina Fire Department spent the night fighting a fire at a compound north of Evraz Steel. (Twitter/Regina Fire Department - image credit)
The Regina Fire Department spent the night fighting a fire at a compound north of Evraz Steel. (Twitter/Regina Fire Department - image credit)

Fire crews in Regina were kept busy overnight fighting a fire at an outdoor compound north of Evraz Steel.

The fire department was called at 10:55 p.m. CST on Tuesday and crews were there until about 7 a.m. CST Wednesday putting out hot spots.

Neil Sundeen, acting fire chief for the Regina Fire Department, said they were initially told it was a grassfire, but that turned out not to be the case.

"Our wildline [grassfire] unit arrived on scene and determined very quickly that it was not a grassfire, it was an industrial sized fire."

He said the fire was burning in what's called a "fluff pile" of scrap metal and other materials — like rubber and plastic — in the Wheat City Metals portion of the Evraz plant.

The initial report said the fire was about 152 metres by 152 meters feet in size and 6 meters high, according to Sundeen.

"The crews worked very hard all night long."

Challenges with water supply, chemical smoke

Sundeen said firefighters ran into a few challenges while fighting the fire.

Due to the fire's location north of the city, there was limited access to water, Sundeen said.

"We were outside of the city limits, so the water supply in the municipality certainly isn't what our crews are used to," he said.

"There are [fire] hydrants every, approximately, 500 feet, in the city for obvious reasons. Out there, not so much."

Crews also didn't want to put too much strain on the local water supply.

"I think we were pretty close to that," he said.

They also had to navigate an industrial plant at night, which brought its own challenges.

"It's not like you're pulling onto Fifth Avenue and you know where your hydrants are and you know where your houses are," he said.

"In an industrial plant at night there are all kinds of issues with light and safety concerns and stuff."

Crews had to be extra careful not to expose themselves to smoke from burning chemicals.

"Imagine a burning pile of foam and plastic," he said.

"We had to take lots of precautions with the breathing apparatus and keeping our people out of the smoke as much as they could and yet still aggressively fight the actual fire itself."

Despite the challenges, Sundeen said crews kept the fire from spreading to buildings or the plant's main metal shredding machine.

Most importantly to Sundeen, no injuries were reported.

"It just shows you how efficient and how hard our crews work. They take their jobs seriously and they did a fantastic job."

The cause of the fire and estimated cost of damage are yet to be determined.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting