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Fire at mill in east Maple Ridge

Production at a Maple Ridge cedar and shake mill was shut down after a destructive fire early Sunday.

It was the second fire in less than two years for S&W Forest Products, located on 288th Street, near Lougheed Highway.

Fire crews from Maple Ridge and Mission responded. In all, 10 fire trucks, including four tankers, responded to the call, which came in just before 5 a.m., said Howard Exner, Maple Ridge fire department deputy chief.

He added the area doesn't have a good water source, so Mission assisted the Maple Ridge department, as part of an agreement they share.

"It was a fairly large fire," Exner said, "but we were able to control it quite quickly."

The mill was not operating at the time.

The night watchman at a mill next door first spotted the fire, which started in the saw filing area of the mill.

"There was pretty extensive damage," said Sanj Hothi, an account manager at the mill,

But firefighters contained the blaze to that area.

She said production at the mill, which employs about 25 people, will be stopped until the damaged equipment is replaced.

She did not have a cost estimate of the damage, but said a lot of equipment must be replaced.

The company is still able to ship product that it has on hand, which was not damaged, only partially covered in soot.

The cause of the fire is assumed to have been electrical in nature, but is under investigation.

The same mill had a fire in December 2014 that burned its offices.

"It brought back bad memories, for sure," said Hothi.

 

 

 

 

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