Carleton University buildings evacuated after laboratory fire

Carleton University has evacuated three buildings after a two-alarm fire broke out Saturday evening.

No injuries reported after fire at Steacie Building

Fire crews were called to the Steacie Building at Carleton University on Jan. 26, 2019, after reports of smoke coming from the building. The university evacuated the building and two others as a precaution. (Scott Stilborn/Ottawa Fire Services)


  • The Steacie Building will be closed Monday for repairs and cleanup. Classes have been relocated.
  • All other buildings affected by Saturday's fire are back open, Carleton University says.

Carleton University evacuated three buildings Saturday evening after a two-alarm fire broke out at a laboratory inside the building housing the chemistry department.

Alarms went off in the Steacie Building shortly before 7 p.m., according to a Ottawa Fire Services media release.

Once firefighters arrived on scene, they found smoke on the second, third and fourth floors, and traced the fire to a laboratory on the building's second floor.

Hazardous material technicians were also called to the scene "due to the many chemicals in the building," the fire department said.

In a statement, the university said it evacuated the building, along with the nearby Health Sciences and Richcraft buildings, "as a precaution."

As of Sunday morning, the Richcraft, Health Sciences and Herzberg buildings were reopened for scheduled classes and events, the university wrote in a statement.

However, the Steacie Building remains closed, in part because of extensive fire and water damage to the lab.

'Extreme caution'

The blaze was quickly confined to the building's second floor, fire officials said, and was brought under control at 8:39 p.m.

As of 9 p.m., fire crews were still on scene to figure out what chemicals were involved in the fire and to "ensure the safety of all personnel on location."

"Extreme caution has been taken to minimize exposure," the fire department said.

No injuries have been reported, although firefighters are still trying to determine if anyone was inside the Steacie Building at the time the fire broke out.

As of 10 p.m., all three buildings remained under the evacuation order, Carleton University said. Ventilation work was also still being carried out, the university said.

An Ottawa Fire Services investigator is looking into the fire's cause.