Smoldering fire in waste compactor
Canadian Tire in Simcoe was evacuated Wednesday morning after smoke from a waste compactor fire infiltrated the store. MONTE SONNENBERG / SIMCOE REFORMER
Canadian Tire in Simcoe was evacuated Wednesday morning after the contents of a waste compactor caught fire.
There was no fire inside the store but pungent smoke from the incident prompted management to usher everyone outside as a precautionary measure.
The compactor is a standalone unit outside the store beside Donly Drive North. The compactor is joined to the main building by an access chute.
There was a strong smell of burning plastic at the scene. Norfolk firefighters and Norfolk OPP responded to the alarm around 10:30 a.m. The front doors were locked and remained that way until about 11:15 a.m. At that time, the store re-opened to the public.
Michael Atkins, a fire prevention officer with Norfolk Fire & Rescue, said staff at Canadian Tire acted quickly at the first sign of trouble.
“I cannot over-emphasize what a great job the staff and management did in reacting quickly to ensure the safety of both staff and customers,” Atkins said in a news release.
“Although the fire was contained to the bin and did not extend into the building, management took appropriate precautionary steps to ensure the safety of everyone in the store was their first priority.”
In a brief interview Wednesday afternoon, a Canadian Tire manager was unable to say whether Wednesday’s fire had an impact on the in-store merchandise.
“Everything is under investigation,” said service manager Bill Corrigan. “We know nothing at this point.”
Staff at the Mark’s Work Wearhouse outlet inside the Simcoe Canadian Tire declined to comment.
The emergency posed a challenge to Norfolk Fire & Rescue because the fire was entirely encased within the compactor. Firefighters were able to put water on the problem after staff from Norfolk Disposal in Waterford emptied the compactor’s contents into the back lot.
After the hot spots were treated, a front-end loader was brought in to transfer the mounds of garbage into awaiting dumpsters. There was a good deal of plastic packaging, wrapping and discarded inventory in the mix along with some cardboard.
No injuries were reported. Norfolk Fire & Rescue does not regard the fire as suspicious.