Shredding paper? Keep a fire extinguisher handy

VERNON - Shredding paper—such a mundane and monotonous task—was the cause of an odd fire Tuesday afternoon in Vernon.

Deputy fire chief Jack Blair says a man was shredding paper in a Sarsons Road residence around 4 p.m. when the machine overheated and ignited the documents.

Fortunately, the man had a working fire extinguisher nearby and was able to douse the burning pile of rubbish. However, the material continued to smolder and created a considerable amount of smoke. Erring on the safe side, the man phoned it in to the fire department.

“I think he was quite shaken up at how fast these things can actually burn. It’s something you don’t think about,” Blair says.

Everyone was fine and smoke damage was confined to the room and its contents, but Blair says its a reminder  accidents can happen even in the most unlikely scenarios.

“Shredded paper is actually very dangerous,” Blair says. “Because of the dust it creates —the micro-fibres— if you get some heat going, it lights up pretty quick.”

To contact the reporter for this story, email Charlotte Helston at chelston@infotelnews.ca or call 250-309-5230. To contact the editor, email mjones@infotelnews.ca or call 250-718-2724.


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