A minor ammonia leak at Memorial Arena took Kamloops Fire Rescue crews to the downtown facility at about 1 p.m. Friday afternoon — but no injuries were reported.
“There was a very minor ammonia release and the alarm went off,” said city parks and civic facilities manager Jeff Putnam, who noted protocols were followed and worked well, with no issues.
“It’s fairly standard when you start up ice plants for the season that there will be a very minor release,” he said.
The Memorial Arena ammonia alarm differs from a similar one at Brock Recreation Centre on Aug. 12, which was a false alarm due to a faulty sensor.
“In this case, as part of the recommissioning and getting it ready, there was a little bit of weeping in the fittings and the detector picked it up. It was reported accordingly, the fire department came and everything was handled properly,” Putnam said.
He said releases such as this are somewhat common, though he couldn’t recall it happening at Memorial Arena.
“It’s very minor and in a controlled environment,” he said.
Following the ammonia disaster in Fernie in 2017, which killed three men trying to fix an ice-maker in the Kootenay town’s arena, a host of new measures are in place to prevent a similar event.
Putnam called the new measures “quite significant” and said the city has invested hundreds of thousands of dollars to implement the changes, which include safe work procedures, additional ventilation and a two-stage alarm system in every rink.