VIDEO: Rubber fire spews heavy smoke

"Extremely hard to put out," assistant fire chief says

Firefighters battle a blaze at an Abbotsford rubber mat factory.



A towering column of black smoke billowed over a rubber mat factory in Abbotsford after a blaze broke out Thursday morning.

The fire began at about 9:30 a.m. in an inventory yard at North-West Rubber Mats, where industrial floor mats are made from used tires.

A burnt-rubber smell hung for some time around a large portion of the city, including areas far from the plant’s location on Industrial Way, off of McCallum Road and west of Highway 11.

The blaze took several hours and numerous firefighters wearing protective breathing gear to subdue.

(CTV photo)

“Fire crews set up a defensive attack from the three available sides of the building,” said Assistant Fire Chief Craig Bird. “The rubber mat materials on fire were extremely hard to put out, and were stacked on pallets 10 to 12 feet high.”

Firefighters used foam retardant to smother the flames.

North-West CEO Layton Friesen said the company’s 70-odd employees were evacuated from the complex, but the plant manager stayed to pull away more rubber so the fire wouldn’t spread. The man was hospitalized with smoke inhalation, but is expected to make a full recovery, Friesen said. No other injuries were reported.

Friesen said a “relatively small amount” of his company’s inventory was damaged, though he couldn’t estimate a dollar value. At press time, it was unclear how the fire started or the dollar value of the damage. Firefighters say the cause is not being treated at suspicious.

The flames were out by mid-afternoon, and Friesen expected normal operations at the plant to soon resume.

Abbotsford police gave support to ensure the scene was secure. BC Ambulance crews were on hand if needed to treat firefighters, but none were injured.

Abbotsford Police blocked traffic on Industrial Way and issued an online statement warning drivers of low visibility on Highway 11 and McCallum Road.

 

 

Just Posted

VIDEO: Merry and Bright at Abbotsford’s Sevenoaks Shopping Centre

Holiday celebration running at Abbotsford mall daily until Dec. 24

Identity confirmed of body found in torched vehicle in Abbotsford

Sukhdev Dhaliwal, 48, had rented the Chevy Tahoe before his death last month

UPDATED: Mission man dies at CP Rail yard in Coquitlam

Kirk Charles McLean had been working as a locomotive engineer and had 32 years of experience

AERIAL PHOTOS: See how Abbotsford changed between 2018 and 2019

City has undergone record amounts of development in recent years.

Christmas Seals campaign helps British Columbians breathe easier

One in five Canadians have lung disease such as COPD or asthma

B.C. woman charged in connection to stolen vehicle smash-up in Kamloops

Kersten Ina Peters was arrested in the Fraser Valley on Friday, Dec. 6

VIDEO: Harbour Air makes history with first electric aircraft test flight

Successful flight marks first of its kind in the world

Salmonella outbreak in Canada linked to rodents and snakes

92 cases of salmonella across six provinces, including B.C.

Meng Wanzhou wins right to more documents involving arrest at Vancouver airport

Defence lawyers allege the Huawei executive was unlawfully detained, searched and interrogated

Police say they’ve identified suspects in Bradley Kline homicide in Surrey

Kline, 26, was found dead at 7055 144A St. on Dec. 7, 2018

Truck with body inside found at bottom of lake near Kootenay ferry

Investigators believe no foul play is expected but are unsure how the vehicle ended up in the Arrow Lakes

Bizarre ‘hole punch cloud’ forms over Fraser Valley

Several people posted images of the odd formation, which is scientifically known as a cavum

VIDEO: Calgary man narrowly escapes from avalanche while running at Lake Louise

Bryon Howard caught the entire wild experience on camera

Most Read