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    Default Fire At Victoria Fisherman's Wharf

    Fire causes heavy damage at James Bay fish plant. Finest At Sea facility on Erie Street, across from Fisherman's Wharf

    Rob Shaw, Times Colonist Published: Wednesday, March 12, 2008

    A spectacular but brief late-night fire Tuesday destroyed part of a fish processing plant in James Bay.

    Flames 12 metres high were seen shooting out of the refrigeration building around 11:30 p.m. at the Finest At Sea Seafood Boutique on Erie Street, across from Fisherman's Wharf Park.

    Serina Whiteside, who lives in the Reef condo complex next door, said she was one of the first people to call 911 to report the incident when it was a small two-metre-wide fire that smelled like burning plastic.

    "It didn't take long to spread," she said. "There was a few good explosions, propane tanks popping and sparks flying."

    Residents of the Reef condo were briefly evacuated. Flames and smoke could be seen throughout James Bay and the city's downtown core.

    "It was a pretty intense scene," said Linda McLeod, who lives in a float home at Fisherman's Wharf but came over when she saw the fire. "You could see the flames shooting up from the sides."

    The fire department sent crews from three city stations to the site, including three engines, two ladder trucks and a rescue truck, which attacked the blaze from the ground and the air in an attempt to prevent it from spreading to the condo complex and a nearby heritage building.

    "We got here and the fire had already broken through the roof of the fish packing plant in the back," said Neil Aldous, fire battalion chief at the scene. "Basically we ended up getting our crews here and putting it out... the fire was knocked down very quickly."

    A wooden packing plant building was destroyed in the fire, as well as a van and what appeared to be two stacked storage containers at the rear of the property, on Ontario Street.

    The fire department had an investigator on scene but had not yet determined the cause of the fire, if it was suspicious, or what the total damage estimate may be, said Aldous.

    Fire crews were kept busy well into Wednesday morning, extinguishing the blaze and conducting the investigation.

    rfshaw@tc.canwest.com


    Photo Credit:
    Firefighters douse a fire at the Finest At Sea fish plant in James Bay early today.
    Darren Stone, Times Colonist
    Attached Images Attached Images   
    If you don't do it RIGHT today, when will you have time to do it over? (Hall of Fame basketball player/coach John Wooden)

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    What the hell are meteres?
    Last edited by jonnyirons2; 03-12-2008 at 01:25 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jonnyirons2 View Post
    What the hell are meteres?
    Meteres are those things that often look like a small box and make "beep beep beep" noises when they get close to bad things, like propane and methane. Often have dials with lots of little numbers on them, but sometimes just flashy lights, and beep beep makers.
    If you don't do it RIGHT today, when will you have time to do it over? (Hall of Fame basketball player/coach John Wooden)

    "I may be slow, but my work is poor." Chief Dave Balding, MVFD

    "Its not Rocket Science. Just use a LITTLE imagination." (Me)

    Get it up. Get it on. Get it done!

    impossible solved cotidie. miracles postulo viginti - quattuor hora animadverto

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    But 12 of them in the air? And I mispelled, metres.

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    Ahhh.... well in that case, 12 metres is roughly 40 feet.
    If you don't do it RIGHT today, when will you have time to do it over? (Hall of Fame basketball player/coach John Wooden)

    "I may be slow, but my work is poor." Chief Dave Balding, MVFD

    "Its not Rocket Science. Just use a LITTLE imagination." (Me)

    Get it up. Get it on. Get it done!

    impossible solved cotidie. miracles postulo viginti - quattuor hora animadverto

    IACOJ member: Cheers, Play safe y'all.

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    I live just down the street from the Fish Plant. Heres some pics I took of the fire, plus a short video my girlfriend took.

    James Bay Fish Market Fire Video:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YsnISuKXI4k

    James Bay Fish Market Fire Photos:
    Attached Images Attached Images    

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    Here's an update:

    The fire that whipped through a locally owned James Bay fish plant overnight started at the back of a building on the outside, the investigator said this morning.

    He had no further details on how the fire at Finest At Sea Ocean Products Ltd. began. "We are still ongoing with the investigation. We should know by the end of the day for sure," said Lieut.-Insp. Steve Meikle of the Victoria Fire Prevention Office.

    A city of Victoria bylaw official was at the scene because there have been some issues regarding the operation, said Meikle.

    A new cinder-block wall between the 27 Erie St. fish business and neighbouring Victoria Marine Electric saved that business, Meikle said.

    The first call came in shortly after 11 p.m. Tuesday and the fire was out about 3 a.m. today, he said.

    In the aftermath of the fire, company officials say they will be closed for a few days but are working on plans to continue supplying customers with their wild-caught product. A search is on for a place to smoke their fish.

    "We will probably have a little bit of a hiccup here for a couple of days, then we'll be back at 'er," said Paul Chaddock, spokesman for Finest At Sea Ocean Products, who is sending e-mails to customers today. "The only thing that is really affected is our processing capabilities."

    FAS supplies about 300 high-end restaurants and vineyards in B.C. as well as the Thrifty Foods supermarket chain. It operates a retail store on Erie Street and in Vancouver. A ship packed with fresh halibut docked this morning in the Queen Charlottes Islands.

    As FAS owner Bob Fraumeni surveyed the damage to his processing plant, he said, "To me, it is a silk purse. There is probably $1 million worth of equipment in there." Two fish smokers and refrigerators were in the building which sustained the most damage.

    The sweetest sound to Fraumeni was the start up this morning of the refrigeration units in another building, also heavily damaged by fire. Those units hold tonnes of frozen seafood such as valuable black cod, halibut and prawns.

    FAS also stores products in cold storage units on Vancouver Island and on the Lower Mainland. It buys from fishermen and runs its own boats. Fraumeni just recently returned from more than two months fishing for black cod in the Gulf of Alaska.

    Victoria native Fraumeni grew up with a love of fishing and when many marine-related businesses packed up and moved out of the city, he spent $1 million eight years ago to fix up an old house that he had coveted for years to make it the "nucleus" of his business.

    Fraumeni is a survivor, flourishing when many fishermen were forced out in the wake of a major industry structuring more than a decade ago. Along with his existing wholesale business, he began selling to restaurants and doing his own custom processing, such as smoked tuna and black cod.

    Today, he looked through the skeleton of his former fish plant, at blackened lumber, walking through debris and melted plastic totes still holding fish. At the rear of the adjacent house which serves as the businesses office and store, the retail products, including tanks with live seafood, were not damaged, he said.
    I was zonked out in bed at the time, otherwise I'm sure I would have had a great view of the fire.

    What isn't mentioned in either article, but was on the radio reports this morning, is that Saanich firefighters got called in to cover an apartment fire on Pandora Ave. at roughly the same time, around midnight, I believe. It was confined to one suite.
    September 11th - Never Forget

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    Thanks Sheri, and ya, I'll bet it would have been a heck of a sight to see as an observer.
    If you don't do it RIGHT today, when will you have time to do it over? (Hall of Fame basketball player/coach John Wooden)

    "I may be slow, but my work is poor." Chief Dave Balding, MVFD

    "Its not Rocket Science. Just use a LITTLE imagination." (Me)

    Get it up. Get it on. Get it done!

    impossible solved cotidie. miracles postulo viginti - quattuor hora animadverto

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    Quote Originally Posted by PhotoOp View Post
    I live just down the street from the Fish Plant. Heres some pics I took of the fire, plus a short video my girlfriend took.

    James Bay Fish Market Fire Video:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YsnISuKXI4k

    James Bay Fish Market Fire Photos:
    Thanks, PhotoOp. *waves across the water*

    I haven't been able to watch the video yet, but I will over the weekend, as soon as I finish getting my "new" laptop set up.
    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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    Gotta love the firewalls installed on Dept of National Defence servers. I didnt even know that PhotoOp had posted pictures.... but now that I've seen them, Thank you. Those are some good pics.
    If you don't do it RIGHT today, when will you have time to do it over? (Hall of Fame basketball player/coach John Wooden)

    "I may be slow, but my work is poor." Chief Dave Balding, MVFD

    "Its not Rocket Science. Just use a LITTLE imagination." (Me)

    Get it up. Get it on. Get it done!

    impossible solved cotidie. miracles postulo viginti - quattuor hora animadverto

    IACOJ member: Cheers, Play safe y'all.

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    I heard on the radio this afternoon that apparently the cause was arson and the investigation is now in the hands of the police.

    Couldn't find an article though.
    September 11th - Never Forget

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

    Sheri
    IACOJ CRUSTY CONVENTION CHAIR
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    RAY WAS HERE FIRST

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