Terrace and Thornhill fire departments responded to a commercial building fire at approximately 9:45 a.m. on the corner of Keith Avenue and Eby Street on Nov. 1. (Natalia Balcerzak/Terrace Standard)

Commercial building saved in Terrace following reports of smoke

No one was inside the building at the time

Terrace emergency services responded to a small structure fire this morning, resulting in minimal damage to a commercial building on the corner of Keith Avenue and Eby Street.

The Terrace Fire Department, with the assistance of the Thornhill Fire Department, were both called at approximately 9:45 a.m. when multiple residents nearby reported smoke coming from the back office building. 

“It’s an older style building… the fire started in the ceiling in between multiple layers of plywood and strapping, where the fire burned there for quite a while,” says Terrace Fire Department’s fire chief Dave Jephson.

“Nobody was working at the time… we’re going to do an investigation. In cases like this, we would lean towards electrical but we’ll rule that later on.”

Jephson says the fire was small and not visible from the outside. To avoid costly damages to the building by breaking the door and windows, crew members cut open two passages in the roof instead to enter and help ventilate the smoke out of the building until the entrance was unlocked.

Using a thermal imaging camera, the team tracked the fire trapped in the southwest corner of the ceiling and managed to extinguish it by approximately 10:30 a.m.

“The content and everything in there is still going to be salvageable… We’re going to have fire damage in the ceilings, you know for sure there is going to be water damage but the outside stuff, like the roof and shingles, is cosmetic,” he says. “We’re always trying to prevent causing more damage.”

More than 25 firefighters members from both departments were on site, including RCMP, BC Ambulance, BC Hydro and Pacific Northern Gas Ltd. to help monitor the scene. The building is privately-owned and rented out to contractors.

Jephson says he’s glad members of the public reported the smoke as it helped prevent a bigger fire from happening.

“We would rather have a call to investigate and prove that it was nothing than somebody thinking someone else called,” says Jephson. “Once again, good diligence from the neighbours… always be aware.”



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