EDMONTON- An investigation is underway to determine the cause of a fire at a commercial building in Leduc Thursday afternoon.
Crews were called to Global Fusion Coating, located at 76th Avenue and 39th Street in Leduc, around 4:30p.m. Thursday.
“When our first truck arrived on site we had fire coming out the northwest corner of the building with heavy smoke,” said Ernie Polsom, Fire Chief with the City of Leduc.
The smoke was so heavy it could be seen from the Edmonton city limits.
There were a number of employees inside the building when the fire broke out, according to Polsom. Luckily, no one was injured.
“The full evening crew had been in the structure when the fire started, but they had self-evacuated on our arrival,” Polsom explained.
“They’re pretty shaken up. I talked to our project coordinator, he did a great job getting the guys out in time and good thing we had some processes in place to get them out of the facility as quick as possible,” explained Kyuin Shim, the operations manager at Global Fusion Coating in Leduc.
Global Fusion Coating specializes in internal and external pipe coating. Crews were concerned about air quality Thursday evening, because of the hazardous materials inside the building, however, experts determined there was no risk to the public.
“It was mostly hydrocarbon stuff that you would expect to find with burning plastic and materials. There didn’t appear to be anything overwhelmingly concerning in there,” Polsom said Friday afternoon.
Approximately 30 people are employed at Global Fusion Coating in Leduc. The company says this will have a major impact on business however, it does have another facility in Wainwright and hopes to lessen the blow by transferring both employees and work to that facility.
“We don’t know exactly what we’re going to be doing. Obviously some people can’t make that commute, and things like that but, again, we want to work with them. It’s a tough issue that we’re dealing with, but hopefully it works out for everyone,” said Shim. “My partner and I are going to be sitting down to come up with a game plan and make this transition as easy as possible for everyone.”
“It’s pretty surreal. It’s a situation you never want to go through, but basically we’ve got to deal with it and hopefully we come out better and learn from this,” Shim added.
40 firefighters from three fire departments were on scene for about seven hours, fighting the blaze and putting out hotspots.
Investigators have now taken over to try to determine what caused the fire.
“They’re evaluating a couple of things, but the cause is still undetermined and under investigation,” Polsom explained. “We know it started in or around the process areas of the building, but with the amount of damage that occurred to the inside, it’s taking a little bit of time to narrow it in.”
The building is a complete loss and Polsom estimates the damage will cost well over $1 million.
“Nothing survived the fire experience. There is an awful lot of specialized equipment in the building that’s really hard to put any kind of an estimate to. So, it’s a very expensive fire. We’ll have more information likely later next week.”
Investigators are expected to remain on scene throughout the weekend.