Grand Forks Fire and Rescue confirm they were on the scene of a propane leak earlier today. The call came in at 10:13 AM and took about three hours to deal with including the evacuation of two nearby schools. Deputy Fire Chief George Seigler explains what happened when they arrived at the CanCo gas station on Central Ave:

“When we arrived, we had a fairly large cloud of propane that was dissipating in a large area. So, we started with an evacuation.”

He notes that the quantities were unknown, but it was a substantive leak:

“I’m not sure of the actual amount or volume of propane that came out. But it was quite an extensive leak – really large. We’re still unsure of the quantities. Basically, it is just as serious as a natural gas leak – especially if you have an ignition source. So that’s what we were trying to do – eliminate any potential ignition sources in the area.”

It was a collaborative effort, according the deputy chief, but the different parties involved came together to get the job done:

“We had different organizations on scene as well, including FortisBC, RCMP, Grand Forks Fire Rescue, Superior Propane, so, with the help of some people from CanCo, we were able to mitigate the situation.”

An area of 800 meters from the incident was evacuated, including  Perley Elementary and Grand Forks Secondary Schools; Deputy Chief Seigler says the evacuations went smoothly and there were no injuries. The incident will be investigated by BC Safety Authority.

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A propane leak at the CanCo gas station on Highway 3 and Boundary Drive was reported this morning by the Grand Forks Gazette. Grand Forks Fire and Rescue and RCMP are on scene and traffic is being re-directed. We’ve received reports of evacuations covering a half-mile radius of the area, and loss of power in the area. Both Grand Forks Secondary School and Perley Elementary School were immediately evacuated. Drive BC initially reported that Highway 3 was closed in both directions due to a material spill, but the road is now open to traffic.

More details to come.

Grand Forks Secondary School students are seen gathered behind the building following an evacuation. Perley Elementary stated online that students were being evacuated to City Park.