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City of Brantford charges rubber factory $666k following fire

The City of Brantford is charging North West Rubber Ltd. $666,468 following a massive fire in 2022.

According to a report presented to Brantford’s Committee of the Whole earlier this week, Brantford Fire Department (BFD) firefighters were called to a fire on Henry Street on Oct. 18 2022 around 8:30 p.m

A fire in Brantford on Oct. 18. (Facebook)

The fire involving rubber mats prompted a large two-day response, including firefighters from six departments and staff from the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks (MECP).

MECP staff were called in to assess the potential environmental impact from the water runoff and to monitor the air quality.

The invoice sent to the company covers the response from the Fire Department, Environment Services, operational services and the city’s engineering department as part of the city’s by-law procedure.

“I think we can all agree that we never want to see another fire like that again in our community,” Brantford Mayor Kevin Davis said during a committee meeting on Tuesday, noting this is the second similar incident at the business following a fire in 2019.

“That is the reason that I brought this resolution forward so that we could obtain further information regarding how the fire started, what circumstances exacerbated the situation, and what is being done, and will continue to be done to prevent this from happening again.”

A fire in Brantford on Oct. 18. (Facebook)

“Due to the nature of the material on fire the decision was made to use firefighting foam to assist in combating this fire,” the report reads. “All foam on scene was used and arrangements made to bring the remaining stock of BFD foam to the fire ground. Additional foam was requested from neighbouring fire departments including County of Brant, Norfolk, Six Nations of the Grand River, and Hamilton. The Canadian Pacific foam trailer was requested and delivered by the London Fire Department.”

Davis said he thinks it would be useful for the company to speak to the community.

“Either delegating when this comes to council so we can hear directly from the company what it intends to do to make sure that this doesn’t happen again. I think that would inspire a greater degree of confidence in the community. They don’t have to do it. They are not required or under any obligation, but I’m going to ask that,” he said.

According to BFD Chief Todd Binkley the fire service’s prevention division has worked with the company to implement a number of measures to help mitigate the risk of another fire starting.

“The company has bolstered its internal process for monitoring the product. They’ve installed technology including video and infrared technology with alarm monitoring for the product out in the storage yard,” he said. “We’ve limited the amount of storage they can store in the yard. We’ve increased the clearances to the building to pile separations including increasing the clearances between their quarantine and their general storage. We’ve implemented all of this into an approved fire safety plan.”

Binkley says the fire was the result of human error after a critical temperature check was missed during mat manufacture.

“This allowed the product to move to general storage where it continued to heat until it reached ignition temperature and the fire started.”


In June 2019, firefighters dealt with a similar fire at the same business.

At the time, the fire was believe to have started near rubber mats on skids sitting in the storage yard. The Ministry of the Environment was called in to test the air quality.

They say contaminant was detected in the plume of smoke but it was considered to be within safe levels. Top Stories

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