CORNER BROOK, Newfoundland (From news reports) -- It is probably one of the worst places for a fire to break out, but a quick response minimized the potential for a more serious incident in the Corner Brook Pulp and Paper wood yard Sunday.
At 3 p.m., a wood loader caught fire. The mill's fire brigade immediately went into action to start putting the fire out, but the Corner Brook Fire Department was also notified, as per protocol.
That was a good plan, as fire soon spread to the piled timber nearby.
"We weren't sure if the fire was tunneling its way beneath the woodpile or if flankers had been blown onto the wood," said Deputy Fire Chief Craig Harnum of the city's fire department.
Luckily, it was the windy conditions that had helped spread embers to the surface of the pile and not underneath it.
Regardless, the city fire department's ladder truck continued to pour water on the woodpile.
The fire department, which implemented its thermal imaging technology to check for hotspots, left the scene early Sunday evening. The mill's fire brigade maintained a hose on the burned area until Monday morning.
According to Darren Pelley, Corner Brook Pulp and Paper's vice-president and general manager, no one was hurt in the fire. The wood loader was extensively damaged, but the mill still has two similar grappling machines to continue feeding wood into the mill.
The cause of the fire is being investigated, though Pelley said it was believed the fire started in the back end of the machine where the engine is located.
Pelley estimated the lost wood to be between 20 and 30 cubic metres. He said it wasn't a major loss, considering there is somewhere between 20,000 and 30,000 cubic metres of wood piled in the yard.
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