Penticton mill fire update

Raw video of the fire by Deborah Pfeiffer.

A fire in two hoppers at Greenwood Forest Products took firefighters most of Friday afternoon to put out.

The blaze began at around 2 p.m., and the firefighters did not leave the scene until 6:15 p.m.

But although sawdust in the hoppers burned rapidly,  there was never danger of a major explosion, according to Penticton Fire Department deputy fire chief Dave Spalding.

Nor were there any evacuations, although some workers were assigned to move stuff around at the site, he said.

Spalding said it was tough to say what started the fire at the top of the south hopper, which then spread to the other.

But it could be related to a mechanism in the hopper sparking the sawdust.

In a statement issued by Greenwood Forest Products, they thanked the Penticton Fire Department for their rapid, professional response.

All the damage was contained to two of the three exterior wood waste bins, and the mill continues to operate while the repairs are completed in the next few weeks. GFP returned to full operations, Monday morning.

WorkSafeBC is looking into the incident.

Four people died in explosions at two mills in Northern BC last year.

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