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  1. #1
    Forum Member RspctFrmCalgary's Avatar
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    Default Fire engulfed Athlete Hall in Port Alberni

    Memories go up in flames as Athlete Hall burns


    By Heather Thomson, Canwest News Service
    May 13, 2009
    StoryPhotos ( 1 )


    Fire engulfed Athlete Hall in Port Alberni early this morning

    Photograph by: Kristi Dobson, Canwest News ServiceMemories went up in flames this morning when the Athlete Hall in Port Alberni burned to the ground.

    A report at 4:15 a.m. of an alarm at the hall alerted the fire department and when firefighters arrived at the 51-year-old hall it was engulfed in flames.

    "We found the entire inside was fully involved," explained Port Alberni fire chief Tim Pley. "There was no getting inside to fight it."

    He said that is one challenge they face when big buildings like the Athletic Hall burn. The buildings are, basically, one big room inside and that means it takes no time for the fire to get out of control.

    Pley said the roof was burning almost immediately after they arrived on scene.

    Firefighters set up an exterior master stream outside the hall and began doing what they could to extinguish the blaze and protect the surrounding area, including power lines and structures.

    But Pley said it was a difficult fire to fight because of the memories associated with the building.

    "It is different to be at a fire, and while you are fighting the fire you are also thinking of the emotional side of this building," he said. "It's like losing an old friend."

    The building is owned by the Alberni Athletic Association. Director Larry Spencer said they are insured and already have agents out looking at the damage.

    He added that they are not sure their insurance will cover the full cost of replacement, but it is a "substantial amount."

    "Our goal is to rebuild," he said. "But it is all about money."

    Spencer said that the building is used heavily and estimates about 20,000 people went through the doors in the past year.

    "The hall has a lot of memories attached to it," he explained. "It's a big loss."

    Pley said it is too early to tell what caused the fire. The building was being used Tuesday night for the election, so they know the it was fine until about 11 p.m.

    At the peak of the blaze, 23 firefighters battled the blaze. They came from both the Port Alberni department as well as Cherry Creek. A number of them will stay at the hall for the day because there are hotspots that need to be extinguished.

    They also have some heavy machinery in to move things around and ensure that the road is open and safe for motorists.

    © Copyright (c) The Victoria Times Colonist
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    September 11th - Never Forget

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    Sheri
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  2. #2
    MembersZone Subscriber ffmedcbk1's Avatar
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    hey, I have an idea, lets start a poll.... what percentage of involvement is that
    Originally Posted by madden01
    "and everyone is encouraged to use Plain, Spelled Out English. I thought this was covered in NIMS training."

  3. #3
    Forum Member RspctFrmCalgary's Avatar
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    Well, I DID notice their use of the words "fully involved" when I first read the article.
    September 11th - Never Forget

    I respect firefighters and emergency workers worldwide. Thank you for what you do.

    Sheri
    IACOJ CRUSTY CONVENTION CHAIR
    Honorary Flatlander

    RAY WAS HERE FIRST

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