Noxious fumes filled the air at Loggers Lane and Finch Drive Wednesday morning when a large metallic building used as a vehicular shop caught fire.
At approximately 11 a.m. Wednesday (March 29), Squamish Fire Rescue received a call of a fire at 38920 Loggers Lane, the site of Langis Transport Ltd. The fire department sent out a general call to all three firefighting companies. Thirteen volunteer firefighters arrived on scene to fight the blaze, which took until approximately 1 p.m. to be extinguished.
Squamish firefighters and an electrical inspector were on the scene Thursday morning to investigate the cause. Property owners said no one had entered the building since 8 a.m. that morning, said firefighter Bob Fulton, so an electrical cause was suspected. But the extent of heat and smoke damage to the point of origin made it difficult to assess the fire's cause.
Inspectors had to wear breathing apparatus because the building was still filled with noxious air even 24 hours later. The cause of the fire could remain undetermined, said Fulton.
At first sight, it looked like an explosion may have caused the fire because heat had expanded the metallic structure to the point where its walls were offset by six to eight inches, said Fulton. The building did, however, contain combustible material, such as paint and aerosol cans, that did cause mini explosions. It also contained a forklift, mechanical equipment and an antique tractor that may be salvageable.
The structure may also be salvageable, but a timber mezzanine inside the building is now dangerously unstable and will have to be removed.