A four-alarm fire broke out in a container on Wednesday afternoon at the Centerm container terminal on the south shore of Burrard Inlet, Port Metro Vancouver.
Vancouver Coastal Health confirmed the material inside was a hazardous organic compound (trichloroisocyanuric acid), and that it was a possible eye and skin irritant.
The Vancouver Fire Department was rushed to the scene to extinguish the fire. The Vancouver Fire Chief issued a shelter-in-place order for the surrounding area urging the public to stay away amid health concerns.
“Our primary concern is the safety of first responders, the public and all port workers. The Centerm container terminal and nearby port properties have been evacuated. All port operations along the south shore of Burrard Inlet have been shut down, including rail and truck access. Vancouver Fire and Vancouver Coastal Health are on-site and actively determining if any additional evacuations are required,” the Port Metro Vancouver said.
The fire was contained later in the day and the resulting smoke was diminishing, based on the latest update.
The shelter-in-place order has been lifted for the surrounding area and the firefighting teams remain on scene. The public is still encouraged to stay away from the area.
“Port Metro Vancouver continues to collaborate in responding along with partners including the Vancouver Fire Department, Vancouver Coastal Health Authority, the City of Vancouver and the Vancouver Police Department. We will continue to monitor the situation and provide further information as it becomes available,” the port added.
Investigation into the cause of the fire is underway.