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Napanee, Ont., company using corn foam to fight B.C. fires

A Napanee, Ont., company is trying to fight fire using a corn-based fire foam called Eco-Gel.

Biodegradable corn gel replaces harmful chemicals in traditional fire foam

Firefighters test out the new Eco-Gel extinguishing foam on a controlled fire. (Frédéric Pepin/CBC News)

A Napanee, Ont., company is trying to fight fire using a biodegradeable corn-based fire foam, one they hope could reduce the environmental impact of fire suppressants.

When mixed with water, FireRein Inc.'s Eco-Gel extinguishes flames and prevents the fire from re-igniting, according to spokesperson Quincy Emmons, a firefighter with 19 years experience.

Firefighters in the town just west of Kingston, Ont., have been testing out the new product on controlled fires.

They used only water to quench one fire, then tried water with the fire foam. The water-only bale went back up in flames seconds later.

"I've never seen anything knock down fire as fast as this stuff does," said Emmons. 

FireRein is sending a load to British Columbia to help with the forest fires currently raging there. 

Using corn as the main ingredient could lessen the potential environmental damage of using chemical fire foam.

The town of Smiths Falls, Ont. is currently dealing with poisoned water as a result of fire foam used almost a year ago when a flea market burned down. 

With files from Frédéric Pepin