Firefighters from the Courtenay Fire Department inspected the roof as well as stores at a local shopping centre for a gas leak. Photo by Mike Chouinard

Gas leak clears shopping centre in Courtenay

Fire department does not find smell source but turns up carbon monoxide traces

Several stores at a strip mall in Courtenay had to be evacuated because of a gas leak on Sunday.

The call came into the Courtenay Fire Department shortly before noon, as people in one of the buildings at the shopping centre at Cliffe Avenue and 17th Street reported the smell of gas from the site.

The buildings were cleared, as the fire department sent four trucks to the location. Firefighters inspected the scene. While they found no source for the smell, they did find small amounts of carbon monoxide in the dozen or so units in one building of the strip mall. As well as checking the units, they inspected the roof, looking for the source of the leak.

Fire inspector Greg Lamb said they traced the issue to a mechanical problem – specifically from a ventilation unit on the roof.

“We found the source of the problem, which is good,” he said. “Now, we’re going to take care of it.”

Fortis was also called to the scene, and the fire department brought in ventilation equipment. While people waited in front of the stores, with doors left open, the fire department started clearing the air from the units, which was completed around 1:15 p.m.

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