Terrace fire department crews responded to an incident at Skeena Sawmills in the early hours of Friday morning (April 9).
Workers at the mill saw smoke rising around machinery used to cut wood at 4:47 a.m. and the fire department responded to the call at 5:03 a.m. said deputy fire chief Dave Jephson.
There was a lot of smoke and over a dozen firefighters and a two fire trucks worked to get the situation under control for over three and a half hours, said Jephson. The mill’s sprinkler system had turned on before the fire crew arrived.
Fire crews had to pull out multiple layers of plywood as the flame seemed to have originated from under the flooring from the ‘oil room.’
“At no point in time did we have a visual of the flame,” said Jephson and added that the the smoke was contained to a particular area of and the building.
The incident occurred near machinery used to cut wood, right at the start of the mill system, according to Jephson.
There were no injuries reported and no reports of extensive damage.
Roger Kerry, president of Skeena Sawmills confirmed in an email statement that the fire occurred under the mill’s edgers.
“Early indicators are that it was caused by maintenance work being done in the area,” Kerry said.
“There was some damage to electrical cables in the area and the plant is closed for the day to assess necessary repair,” said Kerry.
Repairs will be made over the weekend and normal operations will resume on Monday pending final damage assessment. A full investigation of the incident will be done in the coming days, said Kerry.
Editor’s note: The article has been updated to include comments from Skeena Sawmills’ spokesperson, Roger Kerry