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Minor damage at Huber from wood storage bin fire / January 08, 2018

A fire inside a wood storage bin caused minor damage Thursday morning at the Huber Engineered Woods facility in Crystal Hill as in-plant fire brigade teams and local firefighters responded quickly to keep the smoldering fire from causing further damage.

The blaze was detected around 10 a.m. and originated in the portion of the Huber plant where wood is dried before processing. A conveyor belt sustained minor damage from smoldering wood that was removed from the bin. Huber said the estimated damage toll was less than $15,000.

Huber employees quickly completed clean-up and minor repairs to restore the wood processing facility to normal operations, according to Plant Manager Jeremy Catron.

Detection of the fire set off automated extinguishing systems and Huber’s fire brigade teams, made up of employees who train regularly to provide plant fire protection, immediately began work to contain the blaze. They were soon joined by volunteer firefighters with the Halifax, South Boston, Triangle, Liberty, Oak Level, Scottsburg, Clover, North Halifax and Cluster Springs volunteer fire departments,

Blustery winds and sub-freezing temperatures made it difficult to prevent water systems from freezing, prompting Huber employees to spread ice melt in effort to combat icy conditions.

As a preventative measure, Huber requested local fire department tankers provide additional water to storage ponds in the event freezing temperatures might hamper fire protection needs.

“Huber has always been appreciative of the work our local fire department volunteers and emergency services personnel do in our community and was happy to provided lunch for them during the event,” noted Catron.

“Good communication, training and common knowledge shared between Huber’s fire brigade team and local volunteer firemen have always provided a great working relationship,” he added.

The Huber management team expressed its appreciation to the plant’s employees and local firefighters who provided assistance to ensure any fire was contained and extinguished in a safe manner.

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