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Investigators fail to pinpoint exact cause of Port Metro Vancouver fire

Summary

The contents of the container are so badly burned that investigators can't tell what chemical combination is to blame.

VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) The investigation into last month’s toxic shipping container fire at Port Metro Vancouver has ended without finding an exact cause.

The contents of the container are so badly burned that investigators can’t tell what chemical combination is to blame.

The Vancouver Fire Department says it’s impossible to tell which chemical mixed with what and when to start the fire. The container also went through several ports and there’s not really a way to know what happened at each of them.

Captain Brian Hutchinson with Vancouver Fire says it’s unfortunate that the exact cause can’t be found, you can’t prevent something that you can’t even identify. He hopes the exact circumstances are difficult to replicate. “From what we’re gathering, it just was a confluence of time, place, product and handling. Many different aspects that very rarely probably come together in the same place.”

He says the fact they can’t nail down a cause has nothing to do with a lack of transparency. “Our crews on scene knew exactly what was in the container very quickly. That’s through the relationship with the shipping company and with Port Metro Vancouver.”

The four-alarm fire on March 4th produced toxic smoke prompting the city to order people living nearby to stay inside with the windows closed.