Thursday, July 25, 2024
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Dal fights fire

Laura Conrad, News Editor 

 

A fire struck Dalhousie just before midnight on July 24 setting off a chain reaction of damage.

The fire originated on the roof of the Life Sciences Centre and was luckily contained to the roof. However the heat from the fire set off the sprinkler system soaking all eight storeys.

Also as a result of the fire, a water line broke in the tunnel connecting to the Chase Building. Due to the broken water line, the Chase Building as well as the Macdonald and Chemistry Buildings were closed for several days. The basement of the Chase Building suffered water damage as a result.

Emergency responders were called to the scene right away, and after a few days of investigation the fire was determined to have been an accident.

The day of the fire construction workers were installing a new access hatch on the roof of the Life Sciences Centre. They used a torch to soften the rubber membrane surrounding the access hatch and the remaining embers from the torch caused the fire to develop later that evening.

Most of the damage from the fire was limited to the roof of the Life Sciences Centre. At one point the flames overheated a fire extinguisher on the roof, which exploded.

“The explosion didn’t contribute to the fire, it was caused by the fire,” Dalhousie University Spokesperson Charles Crosby said.

He said the fire damaged some administrative offices on the eighth floor, including the biology department. The greenhouse on the eighth floor also experienced minimal damage.

“There was no research lost,” Crosby said. “We’re very lucky in terms of the extent of actual fire damage, and that the spread was minimal.”

Fortunately new students attending Dalhousie in the fall will not be facing limited building access because of the fire. Crosby said the fire damage should have no impact on students and all repairs should be completed by the end of the year.

“Emergency responders did their jobs,” he said, “so we don’t expect there will be any long-term impact for students.”

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