News / Halifax

Rogue firework causes rare Citadel Hill blaze: Halifax Fire

The grass fire was put out within 10 minutes of firefighters arriving, and left no structural damage.

Halifax Citadel National Historic Site

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Halifax Citadel National Historic Site

A “significant” grassfire on Citadel Hill had firefighters forcing their way into the historic site to put out the blaze caused by a rogue firework.

According to Halifax Fire division commander Mike Blackburn, they responded to a call at Citadel Hill just before 9 p.m. Saturday. The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of Canada’s Light the Night fundraiser event at the Garrison Grounds had been setting off fireworks, and Blackburn said one of the “errant fireworks” made it’s way to the top of the fort.

The long grass was quickly set ablaze, Blackburn added, as it’s been very dry lately. He also said he can’t remember the last time they responded to a blaze caused by a firework.

“We don’t get residual fires from fireworks as a rule. This is kind of a rarity,” Blackburn said Sunday.

Although the volume of fire looked heavy from a distance, Blackburn said they were able to get it under control within about 10 minutes with one handline and water being sprayed from an aerial device.

To gain access to the fortress itself, Blackburn said the crews had to force entry by cutting the bolts and lock on the gate to get in.

Blackburn said it’s not clear whether the firework misfired or simply was caught by the wind and ended up on the Citadel, but “I obviously don’t think it was meant to land in that area.”

There was luckily no significant damage to the structure itself and no one was hurt, Blackburn said, but there is a small burned patch of grass on one side of the top of the fort.

It’s always vital to assess your surroundings, have a risk assessment done, and look at the hazards and wind direction while setting off fireworks, Blackburn said - clarifying that he’s not saying those things weren’t done in this case.

This was “100 per cent” a likely freak accident, Blackburn said, and since there’s no damage left behind “all’s well.”

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