Fire forces Tolko evacuation

A small fire at the Tolko Industries plant in Lake Country caused a brief evacuation Tuesday night.

The fire was noticed inside a saw box by a worker at 8 p.m., who attempted to knock out the embers with a fire extinguisher.

A sprinkler at the forestry products plant was pulled as a precaution, triggering an alarm that caused fire crews to attend the scene.

“The workers ... managed to put a fire hose on it and got it knocked down before our engine arrived on scene,” said Steve Windsor, Lake Country's fire chief.

Because of the location of the plant, both the Kelowna Fire Department and the Lake Country Fire Department attended.

“It looked pretty major, but it was just the fact that both departments arrived on scene,” said Maritza Reilly, communications co-ordinator with Tolko.

Fire crews examined the area around the fire and ensured the flames hadn't extended to any other areas before clearing the scene.

“We applaud our workers for maintaining that safety-first mentality,” Reilly said.  

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