Castlegar fire crews responded to a report of smoke in a classroom at Twin Rivers Elementary School on Wednesday

Castlegar fire crews responded to a report of smoke in a classroom at Twin Rivers Elementary School on Wednesday

Smoke at Twin Rivers Elementary sparks search for source

Castlegar fire crews and SD20 facilities staff responded quickly to smoke in classroom

A report of smoke inside a classroom at Twin Rivers Elementary at approximately 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, July 10 sent Castlegar fire crews and School District 20 facilities staff on a hunt for the source.

After searching for about 30 minutes, it was determined a small electric motor inside a fan in one of the air handling ducts was to blame.

“It was a tough one [to find],” said Castlegar Fire Chief Gerry Rempel. “Smoke drifts and comes and goes. Once it got hot enough to create smoke then the smoke detector kicked in and the alarm system shuts all of those types of new motors off.”

Rempel said the new code for air handling units proved effective in limiting what would have been a dangerous situation in the past.

“In the old days, you wouldn’t have that alarm system shut down,” he said. “These motors could keep going and heat up and cause a fire.”

There were few people in the building at the time and no injuries were reported.