A chemical fire was extinguished within minutes of firefighters arriving on scene this morning at Reliable Industrial Supply in the Walden Industrial Park this morning, said Senior Public Safety Officer Mitch Theriault, of the Greater Sudbury Fire Services.
As a precaution, three firefighters were sent to Health Sciences North as they were dealing with a chemical fire, Theriault said. All of the surrounding businesses were evacuated, also as a precautionary measure.
Firefighters responded to the call around 7 a.m. The fire was contained to a small container where a chemical was being mixed. Because it was extinguished quickly, there is no danger to the environment or public safety, Theriault said.
He said Reliable Industrial supplies the mining industry with several chemicals. Theriault said it is still not known what substances were being mixed when the fire started.
“The surrounding businesses are now open, but Reliable Industrial is still closed to allow for ventilation,” Theriault said. “When that's done, we will go in to investigate the cause of the fire.”
Theriault said there is always potential hazards when fighting chemical fires, because some chemicals are reactant to water. Furthermore, curious onlookers are also potentially at risk, as toxic fumes from the fire could be dangerous.
“It's the type of scene where people like to stand around and watch, but they need to make sure they are in a safe area, preferably up wind,” he said.
Greater Sudbury Police Service closed Mumford Drive for several hours this morning. Police are still on site handling the traffic, and the road is now open to one lane, Theriault said.