SafeSight Safety Share: Shop Fire

February 14, 2023

Posted By: Mike Campigotto

Situational Details:

Fire occurred in an underground operations room.
Travel Time from surface to Fire: 30 minutes 

Crews responded to fight the fire. First water suppression was used and found to be ineffective. Then a barricade was built to fill the area with firefighting foam. The foam did not seem to be reaching the fire. It was decided to seal the shop in with a vent wall. Spray foam was used to plug any gaps.

At the time of engagement all workers were brought to surface safely because of the hard work of Ontario mine rescue members and support personnel.

The Environment: 

  • Initial readings of the sealed vent wall were 90 Co
  • The temp of the front rims was 90 Co 
  • The engine compartment of the scoop was 300 Co.

Temp readings once crews entered and actively cooled the area was 32 Co wet bulb.

No visibility due too smoke

LZ was 50M from source. 

The Challenge: 

The Response team needed a way to validate that the fire was out before removing the barricade aid that was choking the fire from air. The oxygen restricting barricade had been created at a 90-degree bend in the drift at approximately 50 meters from suspected the fire source. traditional methods would require breaking the barrier and possibly oxygenating the fire and putting personnel at risk to determine the status and potential of the fire.

Since the actual source of the fire was not known a proper inspection would require a bird’s eye view of the target and surrounding areas. This information would be critical in supporting a decision to breach the barrier and move to the process of cooling and cleaning up the emergency while ensuring there was no risk to responders.

The Action & Results

SafeSight’s Emergency Response drone (ERD) was dispatched on a six-person team. There was greatly reduced visibility around the scoop. Handheld thermal camera stuck through a small hole in the vent wall could not determine the source of the fire and if it was indeed out. Line out sight confirmation was not possible due to smoke. 

Pilot was able to set up and dispatch the unit in air within 2 minutes. The drone was compact enough that it was deployed without breaking fee barrier and thereby maintaining the oxygen restriction on the fire. With no visibility the flight was completed using infrared capabilities that allowed for effective navigation in the environment.

The flight lasted approximately 1 min and 20 sec the drone flew from the barricade approximately 30 meters to the target equipment area. 

After validating the fire was out on the 4-yard scoop. The drone repositioned to confirm the 8-yard scoop was not affected. The drone was able to confirm it was not affected by the fire. 

The ERD was able to achieve 3 critical outcomes within 15minutes of arriving on scene. 

  • Inspection of the target area and equipment 
  • Maintained the oxygen restricting barrier
  • Confirmation the fire was out with no risk to responders 

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