EDMONTON — Five firefighters were taken to hospital Tuesday after battling a blaze at a west Edmonton cement plant.
At around 11:30 a.m., Edmonton fire crews were called to a fire in a 20-foot coal silo at Inland Cement, located in the area of 170 Street and Yellowhead Trail.
During the call, five firefighters were injured and sent to hospital. Four were released from hospital Tuesday evening and one was released Wednesday morning.
The City of Edmonton’s Technical Rescue Team was called in to help firefighters down from the top of the coal silo. Hazmat was also on scene to help.
The Inland Concrete Plant is owned by Lehigh Hanson Materials Limited. Gerry Sanderson, director and health and safety with Lehigh Hanson, said the fire broke out at around 9 a.m.
“What I’m told is [there’s] a potential he inhaled some CO2 [carbon dioxide] or some hazardous gas and became light-headed. They received oxygen on scene,” Sanderson said of one firefighter’s injury.
Watch below: Four Edmonton firefighters were taken to hospital Tuesday after responding to a fire at a cement plant. Sarah Kraus reports.
Sanderson described the blaze as a smouldering fire with no flames and a lot of smoke. He said a coal fire is very uncommon and has never seen anything like this in his career.
“A lot of smoke. A lot of smoke in the general area. They would be wearing a breathing apparatus on their face obviously for contaminants in the air,” Sanderson explained.
The extent of the firefighter’s injuries have not been confirmed by fire or health officials.
Sanderson said no employees at the concrete plant were injured in the fire.
The plant is operating as usual.
The city said 56 firefighters worked diligently to get the fire was under control by 8:47 p.m.
*EDITOR’S NOTE: The original copy said four firefighters were taken to hospital. The city said Wednesday that five firefighters were taken to hospital.