Fires blamed on construction irregularities

Quirky construction is believed to have contributed to a string of roof fires on a downtown office building.

Quirky construction is believed to have contributed to a string of roof fires on a downtown office building.

Fire inspector Joe Towers said on Friday that they are looking at the role the building’s construction played in three smouldering blazes that broke out over an eight-day period.

“We’re still doing our investigation. There were issues with the building construction. There were some issues done 35 years ago that caught Copper Roofing unawares.”

Fire-medics were called out to the Port O Call Office Center at 4406 Gaetz Ave. twice on July 3 to extinguish small fires that had started after workers had been heating roofing products with a flame as part of the process. The fire department was back on July 11 after a similar fire broke out.

Towers said he and other fire investigators who responded to the incidents must still compile their final report, which is expected to be ready next week.

Fire investigators met with roofing company owners and workers last week to discuss the problems. Towers credited the roofing company with taking the right steps.

“I know Cooper Roofing was being very diligent in preventing it happening again.”

Don Cooper, who owns the company with son Chad, said problems were traced to the way the building was originally constructed. Cooper said there were gaps in the roof decking, some of which were covered up with wood. The openings allowed heat from the roofing torches to ignite insulation that normally would not have been at risk.

“We didn’t know that because it’s something you can’t see.”

Once the heat got in, the insulation would smoulder until smoke alarms inside the building detected the problem.

Even though the company posts a two-hour fire watch after completing heat processes, the problem was almost impossible to detect from the outside.

Cooper said the company has been doing similar roofing successfully for 20 years and uses professional journeyman roofers.

The company has taken additional precautions to ensure no further problems occur.

Building owner Gerry Seibel declined to comment.

pcowley@bprda.wpengine.com

Just Posted

Break-in at Red Deer business

Social media reports confirm a business break and enter in Red Deer… Continue reading

‘Rough waters’: Spill raises new questions about fast-growing N.L. oil industry

ST. JOHN’S, N.L. — Newfoundland and Labrador’s ambitious plans to dramatically expand… Continue reading

Trudeau rules out snap election call, national ballot slated for Oct. 21

OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says there will be no early… Continue reading

Canadian firm says it has found largest diamond ever unearthed in North America

YELLOWKNIFE — A Canadian mining firm says it has unearthed the largest… Continue reading

Man from Olds killed in collision near Sundre

A 39-year-old man from Olds was killed in a collision near Sundre… Continue reading

WATCH: More than 100 protest UN migration pact, carbon tax in Red Deer

Chants of “Trudeau must go” echoed through the streets of downtown Red… Continue reading

Man who demolished landmark house ordered to build replica

SAN FRANCISCO — A man who illegally demolished a San Francisco house… Continue reading

Giuliani: ‘Over my dead body’ will Mueller interview Trump

WASHINGTON — With a number of probes moving closer to the Oval… Continue reading

Quebecers criticize western oil but buying more gasoline, SUVs, bigger homes: report

MONTREAL — Quebec’s premier is quick to reject “dirty” oil from Western… Continue reading

Speaker Geoff Regan opens the door to his apartment in Parliament

OTTAWA — One of the best-kept secrets inside the main building on… Continue reading

Baloo the cat is back at home after being mistakenly shipped to Montreal

HALIFAX — Much to the relief of his loving family, Baloo the… Continue reading

‘It’s what we do’: Famous Newfoundlanders help replace veteran’s stolen guitar

ST. JOHN’S, N.L. — Two famous Newfoundlanders stepped in to help an… Continue reading

Quebec’s anti-corruption unit blames media coverage for recruiting troubles

MONTREAL — Seven years after it was created, Quebec’s anti-corruption unit is… Continue reading

Former PQ cabinet minister poised to become next Bloc Quebecois leader

MONTREAL — It appears likely that Yves-Francois Blanchet, a former Parti Quebecois… Continue reading

Most Read