Fire damaged crane

Just before the new year there was a large structural fire in Kingston, Ontario of a timber frame structure (under construction). The fire received national attention. This was highlighted by the rescue of a crane operator during the fire. As far as I was aware there were no deaths, but much hardship to those affected.

The fire occurred just north of Queen’s University, a 5 minute walk. So the day after the fire, I decided to take a closer look. At that time there was concern a crane on site could collapse. Subsequently I did not attempt to cross any barriers put in place around the site. The emergency crews were quite accommodating to me. They allowed photo taking and gave time answering questions I had for them. The crane was latter dismantled and removed (see cbc news article here).

I have decided to post some of the photos I had of the site’s post-fire condition. What I found particularly challenging about this fire, as identified by the photos, was the extreme cold the fire fighters had to endure (ice was easily created on site as temperatures were well below freezing, -15C for example), and how the fire started across the street from a gas station. The last photo was kindly adapted from a video by a person i met on the site.

kingston fire kingston fire kingston fire kingston fire kingston fire post fire kingston fire kingston fire

Website launch

Welcome to the first entry of this website. The website, is meant to compile my research activities in one location. While not ‘everything’ I am involved with will be found here, I do believe this platform offers unique advantages for public engagement and accessibility. Logo

On this website you will find details of my current research projects, a listing of my publications, an updated research blog, and more. I would like to encourage readers to engage in discussions about the topics presented here. I think twitter is an excellent platform for this. Follow me @GalesFireSafety

To supply some content for this website, I have included in this entry pdf links to previous articles I have prepared (other blog entries, recent publications etc.). Below are several entries related to an ongoing project I am conducting on the History of Fire Sciences and Technology (see current research projects for more details);

open access samples

Denver fire tests

18th cent. structural fire testing

Travelling fires paper

I would like to draw attention to the later link. This is an open access copy of one of my recent peer-reviewed communications as a member of the editorial board of Fire Technology. ( The paper was largely written in my spare time and provides my views of open access repositories and how they help progress contemporary research. I am a firm believer in open access, so I plan to host some of these articles here after they are accepted for publication as pre-drafts. The original version may be downloaded here;

Above all, I hope the readers following this website find it engaging.