Vernon firefighters investigate flammable materials that were on fire inside a storage locker Wednesday.

Vernon firefighters investigate flammable materials that were on fire inside a storage locker Wednesday.

Storage incident sparks advisory

Vernon firefighters encountered a potentially explosive scenario that reinforces the need to store flammables safely

Vernon firefighters encountered a potentially explosive scenario that reinforces the need to store flammables safely.

Early Wednesday morning, firefighters converged on a dumpster, which was fully engulfed next to a storage locker at a local business.

“They cooled it down as a precaution,” said Lawrie Skolrood, deputy fire chief, of the locker.

However, as a precaution, staff returned to the scene later in the afternoon and opened the locker.

“They were hit with a lot of toxic smoke and heat. It was on fire inside the locker,” said Skolrood.

Inside the container was paint, diesel fuel and containers of other combustible materials.

“They could have caused an explosion. They (lockers) aren’t meant for flammable liquid,” said Skolrood.

“It was a dangerous situation for the firefighters and the public. It doesn’t take much.”

And because many storage containers don’t have ventilation, emergencies can possibly arise even when there isn’t an exterior fire.

“When it’s warm out, they’re like little ovens,” said Skolrood.

“Flammable or combustible material will create vapour.”