CHESTERMERE – Chestermere Fire crews were called out early Saturday morning (October 6) to a 911 call for a fire at the Petro Canada gas station on Windermere Blvd and Chestermere Station Way. One of the attendants of the store looked out and saw a black plume of smoke arise from the canopy above the fuel island and called in the emergency. The attendant said she saw black smoke coming out of the roof of the fuel island canopy, the smoke then drifted towards the store and some of the smoke got sucked in to the store through a roof vent. She notified her fellow employees and the trio evacuated the store.
Fire Captain Brent Paquette said the employees reacted exactly as they should. He said “They shutoff the fuel and electrical supply to the gas island pumps, evacuated the store and called 911”. There was no fire or smoke when the fire crews arrived at the gas station. Paquette had a firefighter climb up a long ladder to locate the source of ignition of the black smoke but the task was beyond the reach of the ladder to effectively dismantle the pillar where the electrical wiring is located. The Chestermere Aerial truck just happened to be out on a training session in Calgary and was called back into action to assist the other firefighters already on the scene. “It appears there was an electrical short in one of the pot lights in the canopy” said Paquette. One of the pillars where the electrical system runs through had to be taken apart with power tools once the Aerial truck and its crew arrived. Since there was no electrical power or fuel going to the island, it was safe to douse any hot spots that were remaining in the column with water. Traffic on the main streets and the Tim Horton’s line up were not disrupted during the fire.