Port Angeles mill suffers little damage from fire

By Arwyn Rice
Peninsula Daily News

PORT ANGELES — A small duct fire at Port Angeles Hardwood mill earlier this week did little damage, and the mill was up and running again within 30 minutes of the fire being extinguished.

“It was not major,” said Clarence Knutson, mill manager.

The sawdust in the ductwork was from green wood, which is not as combustible as dry sawdust from seasoned wood, Knutson said.

“If you walked into the mill this morning, you couldn’t tell anything happened, except for some water on the floor,” he said.

No injuries were reported after the 6:36 p.m. Wednesday fire at the mill at 333 Eclipse Industrial Parkway.

Caught in trimmer

A chunk of wood was caught in the trimmer, causing a friction fire that got into the venting system’s ductwork, Knutson said.

Mill workers attempted to put out the fire but didn’t have the equipment necessary to get at the flames in the ducting, he said.

The Port Angeles Fire Department arrived with 10 firefighters, an engine, a ladder truck and a medical unit, said Fire Capt. Jamie Mason.

Firefighters saw smoke and embers coming from ducting inside one of the mill structures, he said, and extended hoses up to the equipment in an attempt to gain access to the seat of the fire.

Mill workers helped by cutting access into the machinery and providing the use of a lift.

Firefighters used about 250 gallons of water to extinguish the ducting fire and were on-scene for about 90 minutes, Mason said.

Personnel from Clallam County Fire District No. 2 also assisted at the fire and provided firefighters to cover the main Port Angeles station in case of other calls.

“Props to the fire department. Their response was very quick,” Knutson said.

This fire was part of a very busy three-day period for the Port Angeles Fire Department, Mason said.

From Sunday night through late Wednesday, the department responded to 52 calls for service, he said.

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Reporter Arwyn Rice can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5070, or at arwyn.rice@peninsuladailynews.com.

Last modified: May 08. 2014 5:37PM
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