Colborne Rd. Fire Hall. photo by Melanie Irwin.

UPDATE: Cracked Heat Exchangers Leave Firefighters In The Cold

It will likely be a couple of days before the heat’s back on at two Sarnia Firehalls.

Captain Randy McDonald says when crews returned from a call to the Colborne Rd. hall early in the morning Saturday, December 23, the carbon monoxide detectors were wailing.

Above normal levels of the gas were detected both at the #3 Station, and at the #2 station on Churchill Rd.

Chief John Kingyens says cracked exchanges were detected in both heating systems so they were shut down by Union Gas.

“We have to get quotes and estimates on the work involved,” says Chief Kingyens. “The heating unit at Station #3 Colborne Rd. will have to be replaced, and Station 2 will have to be a repair.”

That repair will have over a $5,000 price tag while the Chief is still waiting for a contractor’s cost estimate for a completely new system at the Colborne Rd. hall.

In the meantime, he says firefighters are using space heaters to stay warm.

“They’ve been very busy over the holidays, but I checked in and they have portable electric heaters and they say they can get comfortable.”

The Churchill Rd. station underwent an extensive renovation about 3 years ago and everything in the HV system was replaced except the heating unit.

The number 3 Colborne Rd. hall opened in 1954. Council voted at budget time to spend $200,000 in 2018 on architectural plans in advance of possibly building a new station there. Ironically, the reason given was air quality issues within the building.