Nelson Fire and Rescue responded to two fires back-to-back early Thursday at Gyro Park and the building that houses the library and police department.
The first call came in about 1 a.m. Upon arriving at the park, crews found an area in the southeast section roughly 10 by 20 meters burning on a steep slope.
Six firefighters set to work and within an hour had the fire knocked down and controlled, as trucks pumped over 6,000 litres of foam and water.
No injuries were reported. Only minor damage occurred to the trees in the park.
Fire chief Simon Grypma says fireworks were reportedly being used in the area at the time of the incident, which is “absolutely illegal … It’s against fire department bylaw to discharge fireworks within city boundaries.”
Grypma says if they catch whoever was responsible, they will face a fine of up to $200.
At 2:40 a.m., as crews cleaned up the scene, a report came in of light smoke at the library and police department, which required much of the manpower to be diverted.
Within 15 minutes, all the crews had left the park and moved over to Stanley Street, getting to work clearing the smoke. The couldn’t find the source, but it stopped appearing shortly after crews entered.
Grypma says it was later determined that an electric motor from an air-handling unit overheated.
“They have thermal protection, but the motor heats up to such a temperature that the protection breaker fails and power stops to the motor,” he says. “If there’s any fine particle dust in the motor, it burns.”
The smoke was very light, but enough to activate the fire alarm.