Soaring flames from refinery burn-off sparks surge in calls to Burnaby fire department
Assistant fire chief said large flare on Thursday night was 'unexpected, but not dangerous'
A large flare during a scheduled burn-off at a refinery in Burnaby, B.C., prompted a spike in emergency calls and 12 fire trucks to attend the facility on Thursday night.
Burnaby Fire Department says every year it gets a few calls about burn-offs — the process in which refineries get rid of excess oil by burning — at the Parkland Refinery, but it got significantly more on Thursday.
The calls came from all parts of the city and led to a two-alarm response as rescue trucks were dispatched.
Assistant Fire Chief Darcy Robinson said the burn-off was unexpected in its size, but not dangerous in any way to the public.
WATCH | The burn-off illuminates the skies above Burnaby:
"They just had a bigger burn-off than they expected," he said. "Something happened on their end with more fuel than they expected."
The surge of calls and the initially unknown location led to a rapid response, but firefighters did not have to tackle the flames in any way.
"Burnaby RCMP front-line members did attend the scene last night around 11:30 p.m. after seeing what appeared to be large flames at the Parkland Refinery," Burnaby RCMP said in a statement.
RCMP said the fire was planned and controlled.
"At approximately, 10:15 p.m. last [Thursday] night, we experienced an electrical power outage from an external source," said a spokesperson from Parkland. "This resulted in the shutdown of multiple parts of the refinery and an elevated flare."
RCMP said the flare did not result in a fire and no employees were harmed as a result.
With files from David Ball