Smoky scare at Trudeau Institute

A pillar of black smoke rises from a furnace vent at Trudeau Institute’s main building in Saranac Lake Thursday evening. (Enterprise photo — Aaron Cerbone)
Saranac Lake firefighters arrive at Trudeau Institute’s main building in Saranac Lake Thursday evening. (Enterprise photo — Aaron Cerbone)

SARANAC LAKE — A furnace malfunction at the Trudeau Institute’s main building Thursday evening brought Saranac Lake Volunteer Fire Department to the scene and poured a pillar of black smoke into the sky.

Arriving on the scene with 20 members and three trucks on a report of a structure fire at 6:23 p.m., firefighters saw thick fumes billowing from a smokestack around the back of the building. After meeting a maintenance worker at the institute, he shut off the furnace, ending the smoke production.

It was determined the oil pressure pump had malfunctioned, pouring more than four times the usual amount of oil into the system. The smoke came out obsidian black because it was essentially pumping out unburnt fuel.

A similar event occurred last week, and a maintenance worker from the company determined the problem then. The institute has a replacement piece, according to the maintenance worker, but it has not been installed yet.

Firefighters were back in service at 7:02 p.m.

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