Nova Scotia

Dalhousie fire deemed accidental

A fire at Dalhousie University was sparked by smouldering embers on a rooftop, a fire official says.

A fire at Dalhousie University was sparked by smouldering embers on a rooftop, a fire official says.

Dave Meldrum, spokesman for Halifax Regional Fire and Emergency, said Saturday night's blaze on the roof of the Life Sciences Centre was an accident.

He said workers used a torch to soften a rubber membrane around a new access hatch on Saturday afternoon.

"Certainly one of the challenges with heating any construction material is that there may be smouldering embers buried within the construction material that can remain there for quite some time. That appears to have been the case here," said Meldrum.

The damage from the fire was contained to the top floor. But the heat from the blaze set off the sprinkler system, soaking all eight floors.

Three other buildings had to be shut down because of a broken water line.

The eighth floor of the Life Sciences Centre and the basement of the Chase building were still closed as of Tuesday afternoon.

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