Fire Chief Morgan Hackl and Assistant Fire Chief Mike Rolstan from the Saskatoon Fire Department reported on the Crescent Blvd. fire at the MPCA meeting on September 4. They stated that the 911 call came in at 12:20 pm on July 21, 2018. The call was processed and trucks dispatched in 50 seconds, within their one minute standard. The full alarm response time was 80 seconds to gear up and roll out. Four apparatus, 16 firefighters and one battalion chief, ultimately attended. One engine came from #2 Station (The other truck stationed there was on another call.) Two engines came from #1 Station. A rescue unit came from #6 Station. Travel time for the first truck to arrive was 292 seconds. The last unit arrived at 632 seconds.
The wind that day was gusting to 48 kph from the north-northwest. Two structures were highly advanced when firefighters arrived. Trees were burning, along with vehicles and a utility trailer. The fire generated intense heat and smoke. With so much heat propelled outward by the wind, it was impossible for firefighters to get close. Heat and embers were driven south and east by the wind. The goal became to stop the fire from advancing. The hydrant in front of the properties could not be accessed so the hydrant at Caen and Crescent was accessed first. A second hydrant further south down Crescent was then engaged.
Residents asked … Was water flow adequate? In an internal post-evaluation, water pressure and supply were regarded as acceptable. Testing showed that the hydrant at 3402 Caen Street tested at 124 litres/second. The hydrant at 1247 Crescent Boulevard tested at 110 litres/second. Both exceeded the required standard for hydrant water pressure for low density neighbourhoods of 90 litres/second. It was pointed out that the original density of that section of Crescent Blvd. was 10 homes. Today, there are 21 properties.
What about train blockages? Should train traffic block access to Montgomery Place, a response plan with two routes from the north and west is in place. Is there a safety plan for Montgomery Place in the event of an accident, spill or derailment at Chappell Yards? The Saskatoon Fire Department conducts exercise planning with CN. The notifynow emergency messaging would be activated. Montgomery Place residents are encouraged to sign up for notifynow. Call the City’s Emergency Measures Organization at 306-975-3210. Online, visit www.saskatoon.ca/services-residents/fire-emergency/notifynow.