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Fire

Roof fire at VHSS was close call 0

By Monte Sonnenberg, Simcoe Reformer

A crew from B&G Roofing and Sheet Metal of Hamilton was back on the job Thursday after fire caused $25,000 damage to the roof of the gymnasium at Valley Heights Secondary School on Wednesday. B&G has agreed to repair the damage and will complete the project. There has been some minor smoke and water damage to the interior of the school. (MONTE SONNENBERG Simcoe Reformer)

A crew from B&G Roofing and Sheet Metal of Hamilton was back on the job Thursday after fire caused $25,000 damage to the roof of the gymnasium at Valley Heights Secondary School on Wednesday. B&G has agreed to repair the damage and will complete the project. There has been some minor smoke and water damage to the interior of the school. (MONTE SONNENBERG Simcoe Reformer)

WALSINGHAM - 

Valley Heights Secondary School is not expected to suffer long-term impacts from a serious fire Wednesday that caused $25,000 damage.

The alarm went up around 4:30 p.m. when something went wrong with a roofing job over top the gymnasium.

A crew from B&G Roofing & Sheet Metal, of Hamilton, was making repairs to the roof when fire got into an eight-by-four foot bundle of roofing insulation.

A site foreman explained Thursday that the roofers rolled the burning bundle to the southeast corner of the roof but couldn’t dump it because they couldn’t get it over a barrier that was installed to keep workers from slipping and falling to the ground.

Intense flames and thick smoke greeted Norfolk firefighters when they arrived. It took firefighters from Langton, Port Rowan, St. Williams and Simcoe an hour to bring the situation under control. B&G Roofing estimates it will have to replace a section of the roof measuring about 960 square feet due to the incident.

The site foreman, who declined to give his name, said damage to the interior of the school is minimal. The roofing system on the gymnasium is three layers deep. The fire, he said, damaged only the top layer.

“This is a real big deal to me,” he said.

David Pitt, a division manager with the Grand Erie District School Board, said at the scene that damage is confined to a limited area. Pitt said no one will notice any difference when classes resume in September.

The restoration firm Promus was at the school Thursday. The company is cleaning up water that ended up on top and beneath the gymnasium floor. The firm is also swabbing down the school to get rid of the smell of smoke.

Taxpayers will not be out of pocket for repairs. Jamie Gunn, GEDSB’s superintendent of business, said B&G posted an insurance bond before beginning the job. Gunn added that B&G will likely cover the cost of repairs from its own resources.

“The owner took full responsibility and is willing to look after it directly,” Gunn said. “Either way it’s been looked after.”

B&G secured the damaged area before heavy thunderstorms rolled through the Walsingham area early Thursday morning. As a consequence rain did not spill into the gym. Gunn says VHSS will be re-opened to staff Tuesday morning.

“This will have a minimal impact, all things considered,” Gunn said.

Two B&G workers were treated for injuries as a result of the fire. One was treated at the scene for smoke inhalation while another was treated for smoke inhalation at Norfolk General Hospital and released.

The B&G crew was back on the job Thursday and will see the project through to completion.

Monte Sonnenberg

519-426-3528 ext. 150

monte.sonnenberg@sunmedia.ca

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