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FOI request reveals gap between inspection and plant blaze

Nov. 20, 2012, Winnipeg – A Winnipeg radio station is reporting that fire inspections were not mandated for a fuel plant where a massive blaze this fall led to hundreds of area residents being forced from their homes.

November 20, 2012
By The Canadian Press

Nov. 20, 2012, Winnipeg – A Winnipeg radio station is reporting that fire inspections were not mandated for a fuel plant where a massive blaze this fall led to hundreds of area residents being forced from their homes.

The report (on CJOB) says it used a freedom of information request to the City of Winnipeg to get the dates of the last five inspections for Speedway International in the city's St. Boniface
neighbourhood.

It says the only date supplied was August 2001 because fire inspections were not mandatory at the warehouse that stored racing car fuel.

The report also says a fire department-approved safety plan was not in place at the plant, and that firefighters did not know the type or quantity of hazardous materials on site when they arrived at the Oct. 1 blaze.

The Manitoba fire commissioner's office ruled that spontaneous combustion in an oily substance sparked the fire at the business, which produced biodiesel, racing car methanol and windshield washer fluid.

Speedway International has said that it was federally licensed, had complied with all regulatory safety standards and codes and that no human error, equipment failure or negligence contributed to the fire.