One Man Hospitalized, Homes Evacuated After Major Fire in St. Catharines

Team Parvasi – Inside

A fire that caused a series of explosions has left one person in the hospital and a number of homes and businesses have been evacuated. The fire broke out at a hazardous material company in St. Catharines. There are also concerns that some of the chemicals might leak into the lake, which the crews are trying to prevent.

Shortly after 6:30 a.m., a fire broke out at a hazardous material company called Sonix located at 20 Keefer Road, St. Catharines. St. Catharines Fire Chief Dave Upper stated that when the crews reached the scene, explosions continued to go off. “Explosions were continuing in the facility for about a good 45 minutes while they were on scene,” he said.

One staff member of the company suffered serious burns and was transported to a hospital. Homes and businesses nearby were also evacuated as a precaution because of the black plume coming from the fire. “Because of the black plume coming from the fire — and we’ve got a nice south wind, about 10 km/hour, blowing — we decided to evacuate the neighborhood just to the north of the building,” Upper added. The crews are expected to be at the sight all day as they cautiously try to fight the fire.

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The owner of the company was also present at the scene and informed the crews about the nature of the chemicals in the building. There are some cleaning chemicals that could leak into the nearby lake. A boat is being sent out by the company to contain any runoff from the building.

“We know that all of the runoff is being collected in the ditches and it’s running through the system and that it’s going into the lake. We have a hazardous material company on scene right now. They’re launching a boat and they brought in marine booms. So we’re working to stem the water from flowing into the lake and then whatever’s in the lake right now, we’re trying to catch,” Upper explained.

Because of the smoke from the fire, residents of the area have been advised to avoid exposure and stay indoors. The Ministry of the Environment will be monitoring the air quality in the area.

Furthermore, Niagara Student Transportation Services shared that there will be significant delays and possible route cancellations because of the fire. The full list of affected routes has been shared on the NSTS official website.

Vineet Washington


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