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$1M Chemical Blaze Guts Coating Plant

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

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Fire ripped through a polymer coating facility in Canada over the weekend, causing $1 million in damage and requiring 60 firefighters to bring the blaze under control.

Scores of firefighters worked for three hours in windy conditions to contain the two-alarm blaze that broke out about 4:40 a.m. Saturday (April 20) at Integrated Protective Coatings' facility in Edmonton, Alberta, authorities said.

IPC fire
Photos: CTV

Firefighters attend the early-morning blaze at Integrated Protective Coatings in Edmonton.  No injuries were reported, but the company's polymer coating facility was destroyed.

No injuries were reported, but the company said its polymer coating facility "suffered major damage."

A passerby reported the fire; the cause was under investigation.

'Total Loss'

District fire chief Jim Henderson called the building "a total loss.”

“There was lots of paint thinners, that kind of thing. It was a protective coating plant,” Henderson told the Edmonton Journal. "Because it’s fairly toxic smoke, everybody had to be on air tanks. The guys tried (to go inside) at first, but then it was decided to be a defensive fire attack.”

Firefighters notified Alberta Environment because of chemicals in the building. Hazardous materials crews checked water run-off for chemicals and found it was neutral, Henderson told the newspaper.

Company Statement

"We must report to all of our customers that in the early morning of Saturday April 20 a fire destroyed the north end of our coating facility in Edmonton," the company said in a letter posted to its website. The company thanked firefighters for their efforts and said its electroless nickel coating bays "were relatively unaffected."

IPC fire

Sixty firefighters worked for three hours in windy conditions to bring the blaze under control.

"IPC Senior Management is on site ... they are currently working with the Edmonton Fire Department Investigators and our insurance representatives," the company said. "Our Senior Management team will be meeting through the weekend to finalize our contingency plans.

"Rest assured that we are evaluating options to mitigate any business interruptions in the short term. As soon as we have finalized our go forward plan and have determined what current orders have been affected, we will communicate it to all our customers.

We anticipate being operational in our ENC division by mid week, and our Polymer division by late in the week."

About the Company

IPC has more than 35 years of experience in the global oil and gas sector. In addition to its Edmonton headquarters, the company has a facility in Tianjin, China. "We continually review our safety measures to ensure we exceed the standards set forth by regulatory bodies," the company says on its website.

Company president Bob Frankie told the Edmonton Journal that the company would rebuild, but possibly in a new location.

“We’re a growing, thriving business with a great product, with great staff, great people so, absolutely,” he said.



Tagged categories: Accidents; Construction chemicals; Fire; Health and safety; Metal coatings; Polymers

Comment from Bogdan Dana, (4/24/2013, 1:26 AM)

“We’re a growing, thriving business with a great product, with great staff, great people so, absolutely,” he said...that was the Company President. What else could he say, one might ask himself/herself? In the meantime, he might have thought that people are naive and will "swallow" his positive message. It can be insulting to some people intelligence to say that, like the "operation was a success, but the patient died" kind of thing. You can imagine the facility in China, how well it is looked after, HSE wise, but let us not get ahead of ourselves. to me, if the President would have not said that, he would have been respected more, in a nutshell.

Comment from M. Halliwell, (4/25/2013, 10:42 AM)

Bogdan, that plant has been there for a good number of years and IPC didn't buy it because it was failing. I don't know what else Mr. Frankie could have said when asked if IPC was going to rebuild the plant... "No, we're in a world of financial hurt and will be shutting down all our operations"? Sure, the fire hurts IPC, but if it won't kill the company and they want to rebuild...sounds like a generally optimistic message in spite of the loss from the fire and I think that is what he was trying to get across. On the positive side, everyone went home at the end of the day.

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