By Connor Lynch
Algonquin’s Pembroke campus was evacuated after the smell of gas was reported inside the building on Friday, Jan 10, 2014.
The Pembroke Fire Department and Enbridge both performed sweeps, and no gas leak was found. The building was ventilated shortly afterwards, and classes resumed the next Monday.
Capt. Stacy Graveline was the one who responded to the call with his crew. The call came in at 4:19 p.m. The gas smell “appeared to be coming from the third and fourth floor,” he said. No gas was detected. A general sweep followed, which revealed no gas in the building. The sweep then moved to the college grounds, and no gas was detected.
Enbridge also performed an investigation and reported no readings on gas detectors.
Karen Davies, the dean of the college campus, said she was very impressed by the fire department’s quick response. “They got here very, very quickly,” Davies said.
Gerry Samson, the building services coordinator on the campus and who was not present when the leak was reported, said that he went to the campus as soon as the incident began. “I got there in three or four minutes and everyone was out,” he said.
Jamie Bramburger, manager of Community and Student Affairs, said the campus was evacuated “purely as a precautionary measure.”
Capt. Graveline suggested it was possible that the heavy snowfall recently had blocked air vents on the roof, trapping gas in the building. “I’m not going to speculate, I just know we’ve had problems with that in the past,” he said.
The sweep was concluded by 5:05 p.m. Security maintained a presence and nothing was reported through the night. The cause of the smell remains unknown. There were unconfirmed reports of the smell of gas in other buildings in the community, but according to Capt. Gary Lowe there were no reports filed with the Fire Department.