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Fire damages courthouse

Suspected electrical fire contained, but courthouse suffers untold water damage

THUNDER BAY – A suspected electrical fire has caused untold damage to the Thunder Bay Courthouse.

Thunder Bay Fire Rescue was alerted to the fire around 4 p.m. Sunday when a passerby noticed smoke emerging from the building.

That prompted a major response including six pumper trucks, an aerial ladder, and a command vehicle, involving around 26 personnel. Multiple police vehicles and an ambulance were also on scene.

Platoon chief Philip Dzuba said the fire had seemingly been contained to the building’s electrical vault on the seventh floor, but not before causing serious damage.

“The electrical vault is heavily damaged,” he reported. “There’s some damage possibly to the roof, but there’s lots of water damage through the building as the sprinklers were engaged and it took us a while to shut them down.”

Water had reached as far as the basement, he said, causing issues with electrical systems throughout the building.

He was unable to say whether the incident might have damaged any documents in the building.

The fire presented challenges for responders, who had to de-energize the building – including its backup generator – before entering. The reinforced electrical vault was also difficult to access for fire suppression, Dzuba said.

Only security personnel were present inside at the time of the fire, he reported – all of whom safely evacuated.

Dzuba expected the blaze to be classified as an electrical fire, but a cause had not been officially determined Sunday evening.

Firefighters stayed on scene to guard against any remaining hot spots into Sunday evening. A restoration company had been called to inspect the damage.

Ian Kaufman

About the Author: Ian Kaufman

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