Category Archives: Paper Mill / Saw Mill

Whitestown, NY – Sprinkler system activated for fire at manufacturing facility; No injuries reported

No one was injured when a milling machine caught on fire at Whitcraft manufacturing on Halsey Road in Whitestown very early Sunday morning, according to the New York Mills Fire Department.

Fire Chief Rick Ulinski said the employees were working through the night when one machine caught on fire at about 1:45 a.m. The employees called 911 and evacuated the building at 8273 Halsey Road.

The fire was largely under control when volunteers from three local departments arrived on the scene.

“The sprinkler system did what the sprinkler system is supposed to do,” Chief Ulinski stated.

The chief said crews took less than an hour to knock down the flames for good. They remained on scene for two hours total.

The fire damage was contained to the machine, while a ventilation system directly above the machine was “warped” from the heat, Ulinski noted.

The New York Mills, Westmoreland and Whitesboro fire departments were dispatched to the scene.

Chehalis, WA – Sprinkler system activated for fire in sawdust bin; No injuries reported

While there was a large volume of fire in a sawdust bin at Hardel Mutual Plywood on Thursday evening, no one was injured and the fire did not spread to the company’s main structure. 

The fire most likely started in a sawdust vacuum system on site, said Lewis County Fire District 6 Chief Ken Cardinale. 

“Sometimes they get a spark either from a rock or a nail or something that gets into that sawdust material and then causes the fire,” said Cardinale. “I wouldn’t say they’re common, but they do occur at these facilities. We probably have two or three of these that occur every year around the county.” 

The fire was inside the sawdust bins outside the building, which had sprinkler systems installed and “held it in check” until fire personnel were able to arrive. 

District 6 responded and called neighboring Lewis County Fire District 5 to assist, said Cardinale. 

Crews attacked the fire from above for about an hour and a half before it was extinguished, he said. 

“We put it out to keep it from spreading to the inside and cleaned up and went home,” he said. 

Corpus Christi, TX – Sprinkler system activated for fire at paper company

Firefighters were called out to the Gulf Coast Paper Company Warehouse around 6:45 p.m. Sunday after several reports made to 911.

Fire crews saw smoke coming from the building when they arrived at the scene and quickly made their way inside.

“With this being a paper company with a fire of that magnitude certainly the lead time between fire and smoke it certainly could’ve gotten a whole lot worse there’s a lot of fire load inside and the sprinkler system certainly saved the day today,” said Battalion Chief David Saenz.  

The building has some water and fire damage, and officials say they will be investigating the actual cause of that blaze.

Grand Forks, ND – Fire contained by sprinkler system at mill; No injuries reported

A piece of machinery at a mill in Grand Forks started on fire, leaving $10,000 in damages at the plant.

The Grand Forks Fire Department says they were called to the State Mill in the 1800 block of Mill Rd. around 8 p.m. on Monday, April 19.

When crews arrived, they learned a sprinkler system in the building went off and contained the fire the single piece of equipment.

Firefighters believe the fire started because of a mechanical failure.

No one was injured by the flames.

Prince George, BC, Canada – Fire sprinkler activated for fire at sawmill; No injuries reported

Volunteer fire crews responded to a fire at Carrier Lumber’s sawmill on Willowcale Road last night.

The Regional District of Fraser Fort-George says it broke out just before 10:30 p.m. and say the fire was mostly contained by the sprinkler system that was activated.

The extent of the damage is still being assessed and the cause is unknown.

There were no known injuries. The Buckhorn Volunteer Fire Department responded with mutual aid from Pineview Volunteer Fire Department and the Red Rock/Stoner Volunteer fire department.

Montrose, CO – Sprinkler system slows fire at saw mill; No injuries reported

Montrose Forest Products is operating at a temporarily diminished capacity, as repairs are made to electrical components that were damaged in a fire late Friday at the timber mill.

“It wasn’t catastrophic, but it wasn’t good, nonetheless,” Mike Kusar, general manager, said Monday.

“We had mainly electrical damage to our de-barker area. We are running production today, but it is at less than full capacity. We are still making repairs. No one was injured. The fire district did a great job, getting right out there and getting it out,” Kusar said.

A fire alarm summoned the Montrose Fire Protection District and deputies to the timber mill on 65.30 Road at about 10:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 7.

Crews found fire showing in and around manufacturing equipment in an open area of the building. The sprinkler system activated, slowing the fire, which firefighters extinguished. With plant employees, they were able to shut down power to the system and machinery.

The fire district’s report says one of the areas of fire was at a hydraulic fluid tank and electric pumps, where rubber piping had burned through and was leaking. Containers of hydraulic oil had burned and above them, was wiring that had been exposed when the insulation burned off.

The fire also burned around and under a conveyor belt motor, and around a large saw in the metal building.

The amount of sawdust made it difficult to determine distinct burn patterns; per the report, workers said welding might have been done near the saw earlier in the day.

The fire district surmised the blaze was heading south and the sprinkler heads activated after crews arrived.

“I think our sprinkler system paid for itself this weekend,” Kusar said Monday.

As firefighters began clearing the scene Friday, employees used hoses to keep wetting the sawdust and worked to replace sprinkler heads to reactivate the system.

According to the report, dust, fiber, lint, sawdust and excelsior caught fire first, due to “failure of equipment or heat source.” It listed “heat source too close to combustibles” as a contributing factor. There were no human contributing factors.

Preliminary damages were estimated at $25,000. The involved property was valued at $5 million and the contents at $1million.

Montrose Forest Products is having the electrical damage repaired so it can resume full-capacity operations, Kusar said.

“It was obviously a very big deal, but we’re back running today. We worked all weekend to get her going,” he said.

The mill hopes to be at full operation again in about a week.

Corry, PA – Sprinkler system prevents fire from spreading at lumber manufacturing facility

Firefighters from Corry, Spring Creek, Spartansburg and Elgin were called out to fight a fire in a commercial building Sunday night.

The fire broke out at 175 Sample Flats Road just before 9:30 p.m.

The first units from Corry arrived to find light smoke pouring from the eaves of the sprawling two story metal structure.

The business is a lumber manufacturing facility, and a sawmill.  It had been Thompson’s Maple Products.  Information now shows it as Larix Inc.

The fire chief on the scene said the blaze began in a break room. 

Firefighters were concerned about sawdust spreading the fire.  They said a sprinkler system made a big difference.

At the height of the fire 40 firefighters were on the scene.

Strasburg, VA – Sprinkler system keeps fire contained to machinery at paper mill

Mercury Paper evacuated its Strasburg plant when a fire started in a building Friday morning.

The Shenandoah County Emergency Communications Center received a call at 3:41 a.m. from someone at the scene who reported a fire in one of the buildings, Shannon Walters, service assistant for the Shenandoah County Department of Fire and Rescue, said Friday.

Employees evacuated the facility, Deputy Chief Billy Streett said. Responders checked out one employee on the site for smoke inhalation who refused transport to the hospital, Streett said.

The fire started in a piece of equipment in a processing area of the plant, Streett added. Employees and then the plant’s sprinkler system extinguished the fire by the time fire and rescue crews arrived, he said, explaining that employees worked on putting out the blaze but flames grew to the point that the fire triggered the sprinklers. The sprinkler system kept the fire contained to the machinery.

Crews cleared the scene at 5:28 a.m., Walters said. Fire stations in Strasburg, Toms Brook and Middletown responded to the call along with rescue squads in Strasburg and Woodstock.

Fire and rescue workers have responded to other emergencies at Mercury Paper, Streett said.

Penticton, BC, Canada – Fire caused by forklift contained by fire sprinklers

Penticton fire crews were called to a blaze at Greenwood Forest Products just after 4:30 a.m. on Monday.

Firefighters saw black smoke coming out of the middle and north end of the building when they arrived, fire department Deputy Chief Chris Forrester said.

When crews entered the building, they found one of the forklifts had caught fire, he added.

“When we were setting up to enter the building, there were two very loud pops, and my best guess is that those were the tires exploding on the forklift,” Forrester said.

The sprinkler system had turned on and extinguished most of the blaze, according to Forrester.

Any damage inside the building was likely due to smoke or water damage, not flames, he added.

Bennington, NH – Sprinkler system controlled fire at Paper Mill until fire crews arrived

Firefighters responded to a two-alarm fire at Monadnock Paper Mills in Bennington Thursday morning around 9:45 a.m.

On scene, Monadnock Paper Mills Vice President of Human Resources Bill Peterson said the fire was caused by overheated ball bearings in a fan above one of the paper machines. The fan is above the mill’s machinery and is part of the buildings venting and cooling system.

The building is equipped with a sprinkler system, which was activated until fire crews arrived and were able to get the fire under control.

There were roughly 25 employees in the area where the fire started, Peterson said, who activated the fire protocols before evacuating with the entirety of the rest of the plant.

Peterson said the Monadnock Paper Mill’s 200 employees have multiple fire drills every year, and were able to follow those plans, and account for everyone.

“Folks got out when they were told to get out, and everything worked the way it was supposed to,” Peterson said. “This is why we do this.”

Bennington Deputy Fire Chief Keith Nason said when crews first arrived, they got the initial fire under control quickly, but then discovered the fire had spread into the ceiling, at which point he called for a second alarm.

“With an older building like this, which is very segmented, it can spread very quickly through the vent system, which it started in,” Nason said.

Fire crews remained on scene until noon, checking for fire burning in the ceiling or vents.

Peterson said he didn’t know how much damage had been caused yet, but said he had spoken with Antrim Fire Chief Marshall Gale, a former long-time employee of the plant, who knew the machinery and was assured repairs could likely be done in a few days.

“From that, we’re assuming the damage was minimal,” Peterson said. “We may have smoke damage and a whole lot of water to mop up.”

Peterson said the Paper Mill is not shut down, and that most employees would be able to return to work after the power – shut off during firefighting operations – was returned to the building. Before fire crews left the property maintenance staff had already been allowed to re-enter the building to assess the damage.

“We give our thanks to all the fire departments who showed up. It was a quick response, and very much appreciated by the 200 employees we have here,” Peterson said.

Bennington crews were assisted on the scene by fire crews from Antrim, Peterborough, Hillsborough, Hancock and Greenfield.