WEE­KEND FIRE CAN’T SHUT DOWN LAND­TECH IN CLA­RENCE-RO­CK­LAND

Vision (Canada) - - Actualités • News - GREGG CHAM­BER­LAIN gregg.cham­ber­lain@eap.on.ca

It is still business as usual for Mi­chel Bergeron and his staff at Land­Tech/ Bergeron in spite of a wee­kend fire that des­troyed the main of­fice and sto­rage ga­rage of the Ro­ck­land-ba­sed lawn and gar­den ser­vice and sup­ply centre.

Bergeron was bu­sy Mon­day mor­ning, trying to work out pay lists for all of his 40 em­ployees, ba­sed on elec­tro­nic re­cords sa­ved to the Cloud, and al­so pa­per files sal­va­ged from the re­mains of the burnt-out front of­fice.

“Our main concern is ma­king sure that eve­ryone has got their pay," he said. "We don’t want them to lose out.”

Just af­ter 8 p.m., Sa­tur­day night, Bergeron got a call about a fire at the Land­Tech site on che­min de la Baie in Ro­ck­land. Fire figh­ter crews from all th­ree of the Cla­rence-Ro­ck­land fire de­part­ment sta­tions re­spon­ded to the si­tua­tion and a sup­port crew was al­so cal­led in from the Ci­ty of Ot­ta­wa’s Cum­ber­land sta­tion, to help en­sure a good sup­ply of wa­ter for figh­ting the fire.

“It was a si­gni­fi­cant fire event,” said Chief Brian Wil­son of the Cla­rence-Ro­ck­land Fire De­part­ment on Mon­day. There was a pres­sure pro­blem with the hy­drant at the end of the Bay Road wa­ter sup­ply line. Fi­re­figh­ters had to run hoses ins­tead, from the hy­drant back up the line near the Ro­na hard­ware buil­ding site. It de­layed but didn’t stop fire crews from kee­ping the fire un­der control and ma­king sure that the die­sel fuel sto­rage tanks, lo­ca­ted at the rear of the of­fice/ ga­rage buil­ding, did not ove­rheat and cause a pres­sure buil­dup in­side which could have re­sul­ted in an ex­plo­sion.

A se­pa­rate group of fi­re­figh­ters kept ho­sing down the tanks, kee­ping them co­ol while their fel­low fi­re­figh­ters dealt with ex­tin­gui­shing the main fire. “The fire de­part­ment did a good job,” Bergeron said. “I’m re­lie­ved that no­bo­dy got hurt.”

Business as usual

The On­ta­rio Fire Mar­shal’s Of­fice has de­ter­mi­ned that the ori­gin of the fire was elec­tri­cal, though the exact cause is unk­nown. Ini­tial da­mage es­ti­mate is $450,000 to $500,000. The buil­ding is des­troyed. Bergeron is now wai­ting for a fi­nal re­port from his in­su­rance com­pa­ny so he can start plans for re­buil­ding. "We're re­buil­ding as soon as we can,” said Bergeron.

Meanw­hile, all the elec­tro­nic re­cords for the com­pa­ny are safe in Cloud sto­rage. Bergeron and some of his em­ployees, along with fa­mi­ly and friends, spent Sunday sor­ting through the of­fice rubble to sal­vage ma­te­rials, in­clu­ding any pa­per re­cords that may be still le­gible once they dry out.

Staff were at the Bergeron gar­den sup­ply centre, hel­ping cus­to­mers with home gar­den needs. Other em­ployees were on the road ma­king de­li­ve­ries and dea­ling with lawn-and­gar­den ser­vice contracts.

Bergeron des­cri­bed him­self as fee­ling “humble” by all the sup­port and help that he and his staff have re­cei­ved from the com­mu­ni­ty in the af­ter­math of the fire. “It shows what this com­mu­ni­ty is like,” he said.

—pho­to Gregg Cham­ber­lain

Le 11 août, un in­cen­die d’ori­gine élec­trique a dé­truit le bu­reau prin­ci­pal et le ga­rage de Land­Tech / Bergeron à Ro­ck­land, mais l’en­tre­prise n’a pas été fer­mée. Le pro­prié­taire et ex­ploi­tant Mi­chel Bergeron et son per­son­nel étaient au tra­vail lun­di ma­tin, s’oc­cu­pant des be­soins de leurs clients.

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