Update 1 - Fire at Industrial Plaza Causes Extensive Damage and Small Evacuation

For Immediate Release - May 26, 2009

BURLINGTON, ON. – Burlington fire crews continue to work at the scene of a fire that started in the afternoon of Monday May 25, 2009 at 4161 Morris Drive.

A 911 call was received from staff working in the building just after 3:00 p.m. reporting the fire. When crews were approaching the area and when they arrived they were confronted with heavy smoke and flames showing from the building and extending through the roof.

Walls of the building that had started to collapse early in the blaze had to be pulled down using a large back hoe. This was done to prevent possible injury to crews working at the scene and also to allow them to safely attack the stubborn blaze. Spot fires continued to flare up as the heavy machine moved sections of the roof to expose the burning materials below.

Some occupants of adjacent buildings who had been evacuated as a precaution earlier in the fire are slowly being allowed to return to their businesses. The heavy smoke also caused traffic along the QEW to slow at the height of the fire.

Officials from the Ministry of the Environment, Regional Spills Response, City of Burlington Roads and Parks Maintenance and the Regional Health Department worked with fire officials at the scene to monitor smoke migration and water runoff from the fire.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation however workers in the building at the time the fire started confirmed they did notice flames in a pile of rolled landscaping erosion prevention material. This material is rolled blankets of straw and other natural material which is used to cover soil that has recently been seeded and allows the soil to remain in place until growth occurs. Workers tried to extinguish the fire but were unsuccessful against the rapid spreading fire consuming the highly combustible rolls. The fire was also fueled by other materials including polypropylene landscape fabric rolls and pond liners.

Fortunately there still have been no reports of injuries to workers at the scene or emergency personnel.

An initial estimate of damage has been set at $270,000 to the contents and $250,000 to the structure. Both the structure and contents were a complete loss. Due to the large dollar value of the loss the Office of the Fire Marshal was contacted and advised of the fire.


Media Contact
Ben Rotsma
Fire Prevention Officer
Tel. 905-971-4949
Fax. 905-333-1570
E-mail rotsmab@burlington.ca


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