Department of National Defence

Department of National Defence

June 23, 2009 16:38 ET

Manege Militaire de la Grande-Allee Fire Investigation Completed

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - June 23, 2009) - The Canadian Forces Fire Marshal has now completed his investigation of the Manege Militaire de la Grande-Allee (MMGA) fire of April 4, 2008.

"The Department of National Defence has been committed to conducting a thorough investigation of this fire." said the Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence and Minister for the Atlantic Gateway. "We will continue to ensure that fire safety remains a priority for a safe working environment for Canadian Forces members and civilian employees."

The comprehensive investigation concluded that the fire was accidental. It was determined that the fire originated in the southwest corner of the attic of the main drill hall, where a sprinkler system installation project was ongoing. It was determined that the fire was caused by the misuse of a portable halogen lamp.

The investigation also determined that the fire alarm system was partially impaired. More specifically, the fire detection zone covering the attic had been disconnected.

In response to the report, the Department of National Defence has taken a number of actions with respect to the use of portable lighting equipment; fire safety of construction sites; fire protection system impairment management; and inspection, testing and maintenance of fire protection systems.

The fire investigation report also recommends a separate investigation into the circumstances which led to the impairment of the fire alarm system.

"With the results from the Canadian Forces Fire Marshal report in hand, the Army will initiate an administrative investigation," said Lieutenant-General Andrew Leslie, Chief of the Land Staff. "This investigation will help the Army further understand the events leading to the fire in order to prevent a re-occurrence."

Details regarding the administrative investigation, its terms of reference, make-up and reporting timelines, will be released in the near future.

Note to editors: The executive summary of the report is available on the DND/CF News Room website in the "Key Documents" section: www.forces.gc.ca/site/reports-rapports/index-eng.asp.

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