Air-Quality Officials Investigate Balsams Renovation Fire

Mar 5, 2013

The Department of Environmental Services is investigating whether any air-protection measures were violated when several buildings at the Balsams were burned down as part of a renovation.

The fires took place on January 6th and destroyed a large dormitory and a second building once used to produce rubber and latex products.

Three North Country fire departments used the burn as a training exercise.

The fire also saved money for the new owners who wanted to demolish the buildings as part of a planned renovation.

But the Air Resources section of the Department of Environmental Services is “gathering information regarding the circumstances,” of the fires, says Tim Drew, a spokesman for the department.

State regulations allow such training exercises. But concerns over air quality – including particulate emissions - require the prior removal of asbestos, lamps that may contain mercury, paint, solvents and furnishings not needed for the training.

A spokesman for the new owners couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.

For Colebrook Chronicle video of the buildings burning: