Archmill fire easier to contain than Biedermann, says MOE

News Aug 28, 2009 Ancaster News

Ancaster’s industrial area provided ideal circumstances for containing potentially contaminated fire water at Tuesday’s Archmill House fire, preventing the kind of environmental impact experienced in Dundas after the Biedermann Packaging pesticide plant fire two years ago, according to ministry of environment staff.

“The Archmill facility is in a newer industrial area, with municipal storm drains and storm water ponds for the diversion and containment of douse water away from natural drainage courses and containment for removal and disposal,” said ministry spokesperson Jennifer Hall after meeting with MOE staff who were on the site of Tuesday’s three alarm blaze that sent smoke, and smells, across Hamilton.

Archmill is registered with the province as a hazardous waste generator.

According to the Hazardous Waste Information Network, the company produces two classes of liquid hazardous and industrial waste.

But the Biedermann fire experience in Dundas two years ago appears to have influenced how the Archmill incident was handled.

“The Biedermann fire and its outcomes are very fresh in the minds of ministry staff, and we are using that scenario in our training and preparation for other fires,” Ms. Hall said. “We’re always looking for ways to further improve our capabilities.”

Air quality tests Early air quality test results from

this week’s fire were reportedly similar to the ministry air tests at the Biedermann fire –finding only standard readings for structure fires.

Ms. Hall said ministry staff directed the City of Hamilton to block discharge of fire dowse water into a nearby storm water retention pond, and she said water tests at the pond’s outfall indicated no dowse water reached it.

When ministry staff arrived on scene at the Biedermann fire, contaminated dowse water had already been flowing directly into a storm sewer that drains into Spencer Creek.

The more modern Ancaster industrial area apparently provided a setting that made dealing with the incident easier.

Unlike the Biedermann fire, where a significant amount of water was required to control the blaze, firefighters stopped using water on the Archmill building and instead used foam to suppress the blaze.

Biedermann Packaging representatives have said they asked fire officials to use foam instead of water.

Fire service officials did not respond to questions on why they decided to switch from water to foam during the Archmill fire, and how the incident compared to the Biedermann Packaging fire.

Archmill fire easier to contain than Biedermann, says MOE

News Aug 28, 2009 Ancaster News

Ancaster’s industrial area provided ideal circumstances for containing potentially contaminated fire water at Tuesday’s Archmill House fire, preventing the kind of environmental impact experienced in Dundas after the Biedermann Packaging pesticide plant fire two years ago, according to ministry of environment staff.

“The Archmill facility is in a newer industrial area, with municipal storm drains and storm water ponds for the diversion and containment of douse water away from natural drainage courses and containment for removal and disposal,” said ministry spokesperson Jennifer Hall after meeting with MOE staff who were on the site of Tuesday’s three alarm blaze that sent smoke, and smells, across Hamilton.

Archmill is registered with the province as a hazardous waste generator.

According to the Hazardous Waste Information Network, the company produces two classes of liquid hazardous and industrial waste.

But the Biedermann fire experience in Dundas two years ago appears to have influenced how the Archmill incident was handled.

“The Biedermann fire and its outcomes are very fresh in the minds of ministry staff, and we are using that scenario in our training and preparation for other fires,” Ms. Hall said. “We’re always looking for ways to further improve our capabilities.”

Air quality tests Early air quality test results from

this week’s fire were reportedly similar to the ministry air tests at the Biedermann fire –finding only standard readings for structure fires.

Ms. Hall said ministry staff directed the City of Hamilton to block discharge of fire dowse water into a nearby storm water retention pond, and she said water tests at the pond’s outfall indicated no dowse water reached it.

When ministry staff arrived on scene at the Biedermann fire, contaminated dowse water had already been flowing directly into a storm sewer that drains into Spencer Creek.

The more modern Ancaster industrial area apparently provided a setting that made dealing with the incident easier.

Unlike the Biedermann fire, where a significant amount of water was required to control the blaze, firefighters stopped using water on the Archmill building and instead used foam to suppress the blaze.

Biedermann Packaging representatives have said they asked fire officials to use foam instead of water.

Fire service officials did not respond to questions on why they decided to switch from water to foam during the Archmill fire, and how the incident compared to the Biedermann Packaging fire.

Archmill fire easier to contain than Biedermann, says MOE

News Aug 28, 2009 Ancaster News

Ancaster’s industrial area provided ideal circumstances for containing potentially contaminated fire water at Tuesday’s Archmill House fire, preventing the kind of environmental impact experienced in Dundas after the Biedermann Packaging pesticide plant fire two years ago, according to ministry of environment staff.

“The Archmill facility is in a newer industrial area, with municipal storm drains and storm water ponds for the diversion and containment of douse water away from natural drainage courses and containment for removal and disposal,” said ministry spokesperson Jennifer Hall after meeting with MOE staff who were on the site of Tuesday’s three alarm blaze that sent smoke, and smells, across Hamilton.

Archmill is registered with the province as a hazardous waste generator.

According to the Hazardous Waste Information Network, the company produces two classes of liquid hazardous and industrial waste.

But the Biedermann fire experience in Dundas two years ago appears to have influenced how the Archmill incident was handled.

“The Biedermann fire and its outcomes are very fresh in the minds of ministry staff, and we are using that scenario in our training and preparation for other fires,” Ms. Hall said. “We’re always looking for ways to further improve our capabilities.”

Air quality tests Early air quality test results from

this week’s fire were reportedly similar to the ministry air tests at the Biedermann fire –finding only standard readings for structure fires.

Ms. Hall said ministry staff directed the City of Hamilton to block discharge of fire dowse water into a nearby storm water retention pond, and she said water tests at the pond’s outfall indicated no dowse water reached it.

When ministry staff arrived on scene at the Biedermann fire, contaminated dowse water had already been flowing directly into a storm sewer that drains into Spencer Creek.

The more modern Ancaster industrial area apparently provided a setting that made dealing with the incident easier.

Unlike the Biedermann fire, where a significant amount of water was required to control the blaze, firefighters stopped using water on the Archmill building and instead used foam to suppress the blaze.

Biedermann Packaging representatives have said they asked fire officials to use foam instead of water.

Fire service officials did not respond to questions on why they decided to switch from water to foam during the Archmill fire, and how the incident compared to the Biedermann Packaging fire.