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Huntingdon’s Chateau building evacuated

The Chateau building in Huntingdon was evacuated on Wednesday following a general alarm fire call Firefighters from the Huntingdon Godmanchester and Hinchinbrooke fire departments responded to the incident PHOTO Sarah Rennie

Firefighters from the Huntingdon, Godmanchester, and Hinchinbrooke fire departments were called to the Chateau building in Huntingdon Wednesday afternoon after employees in the building smelled something burning.

The building, which houses the CLSC as well as the offices of the MRC du Haut-Saint-Laurent, was evacuated as a precaution. 

The general alarm fire call was issued at 3:07 p.m. after people within the building began to smell a strong odour coming from the second floor. “It smelt like something was overheating,” said one witness, who was standing outside watching as firefighters donned breathing equipment before entering the building. 

“We checked everything, but we didn’t find anything,” says Huntingdon fire chief Marc Voyer, who confirms there was an odour of smoke originating from the CLSC archives room on the second floor. Firefighters verified all four floors of the building, including the wiring, before allowing employees back into the building around 3:45 p.m. 

As firefighters began cleaning up, Voyer noted he appreciates the backup provided by the Godmanchester Volunteer Fire Department and the Hinchinbrooke Volunteer Fire Brigade. “A big place like this, the more people there are the better,” he explained, alluding to the fact the incident could have been much more serious. 

There was no damage reported, and according to an employee with the CLSC, those in the building were told the odour was most likely the result of an electrical coil that had overheated. 

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