*UPDATE - MARCH 15th, 5:50 am*
The smoke has mostly dissipated but there is a latent smell of smoke in the executive office area and the theatre.
The theatre will be closed, but the college will be open today.
Those who have sensitivities may consider staying away from those areas if they decide to come in.
Just before 9pm on March 14, 2017 the fire department was notified of smoke at the Portage College Lac La Biche Campus and the call was treated as a fire. Fire crews arrived and found the source of the smoke to be from an air supply fan motor that seized in the penthouse suite, which caused smoke to be pushed into the building. The air supply fan motor supplies air to Block B of the College, which includes Executive, Theatre and Library.
Once the fire alarm was pulled, the air flow to the college shut down automatically so no air could fuel a potential fire. This alleviated the spread of the smoke through the campus and it was contained to only a few sections of the college.
There were no injuries or damage to the building. Everyone that was evacuated were given the okay to re-enter the building, including students to their dorms, which were unaffected by the smoke.
College personnel have the air handling systems operating, classroom doors open to assist with air flow and will monitor overnight. A decision will be made for whether there is a full re-entry to the areas effected by 6am March 15th.
"We thank the Lac La Biche fire department, college responders and to all those tolerating the short term inconvenience" said Dr. Trent Keough, President and CEO of Portage College. "Normalcy will quickly return" Keough added.