Improper storage of chemicals blamed for CUC fire

The cause of a contained chemical explosion that led to a fire at Canadian University College in Lacombe more than two weeks ago has been determined. According to Lacombe fire chief Ed van Delden, the fire was traced back to the improper storage of flammable chemicals.

The cause of a contained chemical explosion that led to a fire at Canadian University College in Lacombe more than two weeks ago has been determined. According to Lacombe fire chief Ed van Delden, the fire was traced back to the improper storage of flammable chemicals.

“Flammables were stored in a cooler that was not designed for this purpose. The cooler’s electrical circuits were not appropriate for a flammable environment,” he said.

Investigators believe one flammable container developed a leak, causing the entire cooler to become flammable. It was then “ignited by an electrical spark, which likely occurred when the refrigeration unit started or stopped,” van Delden said.

The explosion occurred in the chemical preparation and storage room on the top floor of the north wing of the Chan Shun Science Centre.

Three students studying in a classroom three doors down from the lab heard an explosion and reported seeing smoke and flames shortly after 11 p.m. on Oct. 8.

They pulled the fire alarm and called 911. Lacombe, Bentley and Blackfalds crews responded immediately and were able to put the fire out without issue. No injuries to students, staff or faculty were reported.

However, seven Lacombe firefighters were treated on scene for eye irritation and breathing discomfort and transported to Lacombe hospital as a precaution. All were released from the hospital without concerns.

The storage room and labs in the area have been badly damaged by the blaze, stated a release from the school. The labs on the floor below have also suffered water damage.

The extent of the damage has yet to be confirmed. Van Delden said he roughly estimates damages to be about $500,000. All classes that took place in the wing have resumed at temporary locations across campus.

Just Posted

Woman who posed as animal control officer sentenced in Red Deer court

B.C. woman sentenced to 90 days in prison after targeting and harassing Innisfail dog owner

One of the last buildings needed for Red Deer’s 2019 Winter Games is being completed

RDC residence is on schedule, despite ‘tight’ time-frame, says RDC official

Red Deer singer/songwriter is Top 3 finalist in Project Wild

Ryan Langlois, who wins at least $50,000, will find out Nov. 24 if he gets top prize

Man charged in fatal hit and run in North Red Deer

‘The victim had been standing by a parked vehicle, not in the traffic lane, when he was hit’

A No-Go: Athletes and officials weigh in after Calgary votes ‘no’ to 2026 bid

TORONTO — Rotating Olympic hosts? A single go-to destination every four years?… Continue reading

Predators may have NHL’s best goalie combo on, off ice

NASHVILLE — Pekka Rinne is off to an even better start than… Continue reading

Canadian Premier League buys Ontario’s League 1, looks to develop talent there

TORONTO — The Canadian Premier League has bought Ontario’s League 1 and… Continue reading

2015 ‘Bachelor’ star pleads guilty to reduced charge

INDEPENDENCE, Iowa — A farmer who appeared on ABC’s “The Bachelor” pleaded… Continue reading

‘Game of Thrones’ returning in April 2019 for final season

LOS ANGELES — The eighth and last season of “Game of Thrones”… Continue reading

Big question for Amazon’s 2 chosen cities: Will it pay off?

WASHINGTON — The awarding of Amazon’s second headquarters to two affluent localities… Continue reading

Calgarians vote ‘no’ on 2026 Olympic bid in non-binding plebiscite

CALGARY — The results are in, and a majority of Calgarians are… Continue reading

Leon Draisaitl scores and adds two assists to power Oilers past Canadiens 6-2

EDMONTON — Leon Draisaitl had a goal and two assists and Connor… Continue reading

Most Read