Fire in bark mulch prompts staff evacuation at Glenmore school - InfoNews

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Fire in bark mulch prompts staff evacuation at Glenmore school

Kelowna Fire Department firefighters work to pull apart a bark mulch pile that caught fire just after kids had left for the day.
May 12, 2015 - 4:50 PM

KELOWNA - A fire in a bark mulch pile a few feet away from L’Ecole Glenmore Elementary school this afternoon, just after the students had left for the day, still caused enough concern for staff to evacuate the building.

“Staff here at the school had put it out before we got here,” incident commander Capt. Shane Kielhbauch said outside the school on Glenmore Drive. “It was still smoldering so we’re pulling it apart, letting it cool down and making sure it doesn’t cause any more problems.”

Kiehlbauch said he was unsure of the cause, with the pile situated just steps away from the pubic sidewalk, adjacent to the school’s community garden.

“Someone could easily have tossed a cigarette from the sidewalk,” he said, noting the cause could be natural as well. “If a pile like that sits long enough with a few hot days it can generate heat and spontaneously combust.”

Kiehlbauch did not know how many staff had been evacuated from the building but said there were no injuries. Elementary school students got out of school at 2:30 p.m.

Kelowna Fire Department responded with one engine and five firefighters.

To contact the reporter for this story, email John McDonald at or call 250-808-0143. To contact the editor, email or call 250-718-2724.

News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2015
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