A failure of the air conditioning leads to another evacuation of the Duncan building – Cowichan Valley Citizen

Duncan Fire Chief Mike McKinlay leads firefighters to the Scotiabank branch on Truck Road Friday morning after a broken air conditioner sent fumes through the building. (Robert Barron / Citizen)

A failure of the air conditioning leads to a further evacuation of the Duncan building

Second incident in two days

The Duncan Fire Department had to deal with another broken air conditioner Friday morning that evacuated much of the Cowichan Health and Wellness Center on Trunk Road.

The fire department was called after employees and customers reported the copper-colored smell of allegedly burning electrical cables at the ATMs in the center’s Scotiabank branch in the early morning.

“There was no smoke, but the electrical smell was very strong,” said an ATM customer, who asked not to be named.

Most of the people in the bank and the rest of the center left the building before the fire department arrived.

Firefighters brought fans to remove the fumes and Mike McKinlay, Duncan’s chief fire officer, confirmed just before 10 a.m. that a heat exchanger in the building had failed and was causing the fumes.

He said work was being done to clear the center of the electrical fumes.

It is the second incident in just two days that a large building in Duncan had to be evacuated due to defective air conditioning during the ongoing heat wave.


The Duncan and North Cowichan South End Fire Departments responded to a call of smoke filling the Round Building next to the Duncan Courthouse at around 3:30 p.m. on Aug. 9

It wasn’t long before there were five fire engines in the area behind the circular building and courthouse.

McKinlay said the air conditioning on the fifth floor had failed and oil and other materials got into the building’s air conditioner and started smoking.

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