Saturday, May 1, 2010

story: fire at the pool

Derek Laverty was the first Manager of the Percy Norman pool. He worked there from when it opened in April 1960 until 1982 with his assistant and friend Doug Hermann. Derek even lived in the suite above the Percy Norman for 15 years where he raised 2 kids.

This was a simpler time when the pool was run independently from other pools and recreation centres. Derek and Doug ran the show.

Here is a letter (click to view it larger) that Derek wrote and then
faxed as the record of an explosion and electrical fire that happened in 1972.

What is interesting is that this serious situation was all taken care of without a lot of administrative red tape....simpler times.

To: Don Laing

From: Derek Laverty

Re: Fire at Percy Norman Pool, Monday, October 30, 1972

The construction electrician from the new Riley Park addition was in the process of adding two new breakers to the main panel when some metal object fell down inside the switch gear and shorted out the power, causing an explosion and fire in the lower area of the panel.

Fortunately the electrician had put on his glasses which saved his sight. He was burnt slightly but had the immediate presence of mind to run to the nearest phone and call the Fire Dept. He was joined by the pool engineer Jim Mac Gowan they both returned to the scene of the fire with fire extinguishers and had the fire out when the FIre Dept arrived. Jim MacGowan treated the electrician for First Aid.

The pool, rink and centre were closed all Monday. Radio and paper notified through Don Laing. A temporary electrical panel was installed that evening and will remain in place until the circumstances have been investigated by the Electrical Inspector and Insurance Companies. The pool lost just over $300.00 revenue due to this closure. (Pery Fox has the exact figures).

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