Sprinklers Not There In Third Straight Maple Ridge Mill Fire Maple Ridge, BC- As another summer came to an end, the Maple Ridge fire department were left to deal with yet another mill fire.
Site of Imperial Cedar on October 3rd 2013 - 23672 River Rd, Maple Ridge
The site in which Industrial Cedar once produced roofing shingles on the town's industrial street of east River Road, is now occupied with burnt remains of machinery after the September 25th fire. Just last year on August 26th 2012, a fire burnt down 85 percent of Waldun Forest Product Cedar Mill in the town's 28700-square on Lougheed Highway. The year before that, Watkins Sawmill in
Maple Ridge's Whonnok region burnt down on August 19th 2011. Maple Ridge Assistant Fire Chief Mark Smitton states that fires have been an issue for the last few decades and that mills have been forced to adjust to avoid such disasters. Smitton says, “a lot of the mills have put sprinklers in so we’ve began to get less fires, but in this particular case these three areas were not armed with sprinklers.” Worksafe BC routinely preforms inspections on mill around the lower mainland with a strong focus on fire prevention. Presently the biggest topic of inspection is the accumulation of sawdust which is a major hazard in the spread of mill fires. Worksafe BC has issued stop-work notices for unsafe levels of sawdust but not for absence of sprinkler systems. According to Smitton “If you have a sprinkler armed building it’s going to contain it (fire) and not have a complete destruction.” Maple Ridge Figure Ast. Fire Chief at a recent community