January 28, 2019 9:30 am

Carleton U says chemistry building remains closed after Saturday night’s fire

Ottawa firefighters in white garments head towards a tent after they responded to the Steacie Building for Chemistry at Carleton University in Ottawa after reports of smoke coming from the building on Saturday, Jan. 26, 2019.


UPDATE: Carleton University says the Steacie building will remain closed on Monday, Jan. 28 in order to continue repairs and clean up from Saturday’s fire. The Richcraft Hall, Health Sciences and Herzberg buildings have all reopened.

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Fire crews were called out Saturday evening to extinguish a fire in a chemistry building at Carleton University that caused evacuations at the school’s Ottawa campus.

The school had issued an email alert warning of a “hazard on campus” and advising students and faculty to evacuate the area in and around the Steacie Building for Chemistry.

Ottawa Fire Services said the fire started on the Steacie building’s second floor, although smoke was also seen on the third and fourth floors.

Due to what the fire service called the “many chemicals in the building,” hazardous materials technicians were among those responding, and crews were cautious to avoid exposure.

The fire was declared under control at 8:39 p.m., and no injuries were reported.

University spokeswoman Elizabeth Murphy said the “small” fire prompted the evacuation of the Steacie building along with the Health Sciences and Richcraft buildings, and that all three would remain closed until further notice. She added that the Herzberg building was also closed as a precaution.

Murphy said in an email to The Canadian Press that there was no immediate word on the source of the fire and that ventilation of the buildings was continuing.

Ottawa fire spokeswoman Danielle Cardinal said in an earlier statement that fire crews were working to determine the chemicals that might be involved and taking the appropriate action “to ensure the safety of all personnel on location.”

Photos from the scene showed a firefighter who had stripped down to his underwear being hosed down.

Environment Canada listed the temperature in Ottawa at -16 C Saturday night, with the wind chill making it feel like -24 C.

© 2019 The Canadian Press

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