On Jan. 8, firefighters were dispatched to the Mackenzie Place highrise, the site of a fire last March.

However, the call was a false alarm.

Fire Chief Ross Potter explained that someone believed there was smoke at the base of the empty apartment building, but it was simply exhaust coming out of its heating system.

Exhaust from the heating system at the Mackenzie Place highrise on Jan. 8 caused one town resident to call the Hay River Fire Department.
Paul Bickford/NNSL photo

“All boilers and furnaces put out exhaust, so it was normal operation of the boiler,” he said. “Somebody just called in an alarm on it, and it was nothing.”

Potter had no criticism of the call, which led to the response by the fire department and the RCMP.

“If people think something is wrong, it’s better to report it and us check it out than not reporting,” he said.

Potter said that, while some people might say it’s just the furnace, it might not be and it could become something serious.

The false alarm may have caused some unpleasant flashbacks for emergency responders, along with town residents passing by.

On March 15 of last year, a blaze in an 11th-floor apartment caused fire, smoke and water damage to the 16-storey building, and displaced about 125 residents.

The building has not yet reopened to tenants.

Paul Bickford

Paul Bickford is the reporter for Hay River Hub.

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