The acting fire chief in the Cape Breton Regional Municipality says an explosion that damaged a seniors residence and seriously injured one person was likely caused by snow sliding off a roof and damaging a propane tank line.
Chris March says in an interview today that 62 people were evacuated from the residence after the Friday afternoon blast at the Silver Birch Manor in Sydney, N.S.
March says the explosion was one of four calls firefighters have fielded in which snow from last weekend’s massive storm fell off roofs onto fuel lines, though Friday’s was the first to ignite.
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In Sydney and surrounding communities, the storm created snowdrifts that are over 150 cm high, which have hardened as temperatures rise.
March says it’s believed the fumes spread and were ignited by a source within the manor after the propane tank line broke under the weight of the cascading snow.
He says there is a large hole in the building next to where the tank exploded, and a window in the complex has completely disappeared.
Municipality spokesperson Christina Lamey says “alternate arrangements” have been made for the displaced residents.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 10, 2024.
© 2024 The Canadian Press