A fire in the chemistry lab at Canadian University College in Lacombe has left the school with roughly $500,000 worth of damages.
Lacombe firefighters and crews from Bentley and Blackfalds responded to a fire call around 11:30 p.m. on Tuesday night.
Lacombe fire chief Ed van Delden said the entire lab suffered substantial burns.
“Building structure appears sound. They’re taking measures to ensure the elevator vault is still intact but really there is very little chance that it has been impacted. There’s walls that have been moved and so on. It was more than a little pop.”
The school will need to do a “significant amount of reconstruction” as there is also water damage in the offices and classroom below the lab, van Delden said.
There were no injuries reported.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation.
“We know the area the fire originated in, in the chemical closet area where they are all stored, but we don’t know what things came together to make it explosive,” van Delden said.
The sprinkler system in the building was extremely effective and the fire took little effort to extinguish.
City of Red Deer and Nova Chemical hazardous materials teams swept the building once the fire was out to ensure there was no further risk of a chemical release or fire.
Seven Lacombe firefighters were treated for eye irritation and breathing discomfort and were transported to the Lacombe Hospital by EMS as a precaution.
“They were all sent home and the doctor has no follow-up. They are all doing fine now.”