The three victims of the deadly ammonia leak at Fernie Memorial Arena Tuesday have been identified.
Of the deceased, 59-year-old Wayne Hornquist and 52-year-old Lloyd Smith were from Fernie and 46-year-old Jason Podloski was from Turner Valley, Alta.
BC Coroners Service released the names of the victims Friday morning, on behalf of the families, with their permission.
This past June, Hornquist, chief operator at the arena, was presented with his 25-year pin from the City of Fernie.
“He certainly was a most valued employee of the city team,” said Fernie Mayor Mary Giuliano. “Loved by everyone, just an amazing individual and a great worker.”
“The City of Fernie is like a family, and he was part of that family.”
On Thursday, colleagues and members of the AARFP released a statement, identifying Smith – who was a pilot, part-time paramedic and father.
Just found out my childhood friend Lloyd Smith died at the Fernie Arena. He taught me to drive a zamboni at the High River rink. https://t.co/lofmHkk3pm
— Laureen Harper (@LaureenHarper) October 20, 2017
Mayor Giuliano saw Smith as an extremely humble person, despite his many talents.
“He had a wonderful vision for the city of Fernie and he is a loss, not only to his family, to the City of Fernie family, but he is a loss to the City of Fernie itself,” she said. “Because what he had envisioned, and what he was on his way to make happen for our town, I don’t know if we’ll ever be able to replace him.”
In addition to the two city workers, Giuliano also spoke about Jason Podloski from Turner Valley, Alta, who also had connections in Fernie.
“Not only was he working for the past two years for the company in Fernie, taking care of our arena plant, he has a connection that his girlfriend is from a longstanding Fernie family … Fernie is grieving for three, not just two.”
The exact cause of the ammonia leak, and the events leading up to the three men’s deaths are still under investigation by RCMP, WorkSafeBC, and the Fernie Fire Department.
City officials will be holding a third conference this afternoon, with an expected update on the findings.
More to come.