Nipawin Fire Department attends blaze at hotel

by Nicole Goldsworthy
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
Humboldt Journal

The Nipawin Fire Department was dispatched on June 16 to a local hotel.

“At 01:03 a.m. June 16th 2023 Nipawin Fire were dispatched to The Kingfisher Inn at 1203 Eight Street West for a complaint of ‘smell of smoke’ from a tenant,” said Paul Cockell,  Nipawin’s general manager of protective services.

“On arrival an odour was evident but no visible indication or readings on air quality/gas monitor. A Thermal Imaging Camera was utilized to search for hot spots in the roof and walls while a room to room search was started. During search operations smoke and gasses were found in a laundry room prompting the evacuation of the building said a Facebook post by Nipawin Fire.

Upon entry into a locked laundry room smoke was found along with monitor readings prompting an evacuation of the building while the source was sought out. The source was found to be inside a commercial grade dryer.

A smouldering fire was still present and Nipawin Fire extinguished with a small amount of water. Ventilation was performed until all smoke as well as most of the odour were removed and carbon monoxide levels dropped to zero. At that point a tour of the building was done with management and ownership, which released Nipawin Fire, and lodgers were permitted to return.

The fire was discovered contained to a dryer. Ventilation was performed and lodgers were allowed back to their rooms approximately an hour and a half later.

“As always Nipawin Fire commend those whose ‘Spidey senses’ tell them to call as a precaution when finding something amiss! A burning smell can be something innocent like an HVAC unit simply turning on or in this case, a hidden fire which could have quickly spread before sleeping tenants had time to escape.”

Cockell said an evacuation in this type of event is initiated by the incident commander from the department until the source of the fire/smoke/gasses etc. can be determined.

“Quite often a smell of smoke complaint can be from an outside source like a nearby fire pit or in the case of this past spring, wildfires and even the lagoon prompted some concerned citizens to call the non-emergency line. We try our best not to disrupt the community if at all possible so we investigate first, in this case: the finding of smoke, even in small amounts, meant we took a ‘better safe than sorry’ position.”