A fire at the sewage treatment plant damaged one of the air compressor units and some cables inside the plant.

A fire at the sewage treatment plant damaged one of the air compressor units and some cables inside the plant.

UPDATED: Fire damages sewage treatment plant

Revelstoke Fire Rescue responds to fire at Revelstoke sewage treatment plant Thursday night. $50,000 in damages caused.

Revelstoke Fire Rescue Services reacted quickly to extinguish a fire at the sewage treatment plant Thursday night.

“It was a good fast knock down,” said fire chief Rob Girard. “We got on scene quickly with Engine One. We got water on that fire right away. In another two or three minutes, the situation would have been much different for the citizens.”

The call of the fire came in just before 7 p.m. Twenty firefighters and a full complement of vehicles responded to the scene at the plant.

“Basically what happened was Engine One deployed an initial attack line,” said Girard. “A tech crew went in through the office area of the sewage treatment plant and went in a room that contains the air compressors that pump air into the sewage lagoons.”

One out of three air compressors was on fire. The initial attack team was able to extinguish that fire, but by that time, the fire had gotten into the ceiling.

Fortunately, a second team was able to ventilate the building and by just after 8 p.m., the fire was out.

“It appears the cause of that fire was a belt on the electric motor that drives the compressor,” said Girard. “It appears the belt failed and during that failing it created friction that caused the fire.”

The plant remained in operation, with two out of three air compressors still working. City engineering director Mike Thomas estimated the damage at about $50,000.

“The fire at the waste water treatment facility was minimized because of the quick response by Revelstoke fire services,” he said in a news release. “If response had been a few minutes longer, the damages would have been significantly more extensive.”