Wood Pellet Plant Burns to Ground in Idaho

Aug. 05--GRANGEVILLE -- A wood pellet manufacturing building was destroyed by fire late Monday about a mile north of here along U.S. Highway 95.

The main production building owned by Rocky Canyon Pellet Company caught fire about 6 p.m. Monday, said Grangeville Rural Fire Chief Danny Tackett, and burned to the ground within less than three hours. The company makes pellets for wood stoves.

"It had a head start on us," Tackett said Monday night. "There was a lot of dust inside the building. It was an old building; it used to be an old horse barn."

This is the fourth time in the past eight or nine years, Tackett said, that the fire department has been called to a fire at the location.

Adjacent buildings, including a residence, were not harmed, he said, and no one was hurt in the fire. Equipment and stacks of pellets inside the building burned in the blaze, he said.

The cause of the fire was not known Monday night. Tackett said a state fire inspector is likely to visit the site within the next couple of days to determine the cause.

He did not know whether the building was insured.

Ten firefighters and three fire trucks were called to the scene. Firefighters were assisted by crews from the U.S. Forest Service, who helped ensure the fire did not spread to nearby grassy fields; Idaho Forest Group; and Primeland Corp., which helped supply water.

Tackett said the owner of the company, Lot Smith of Grangeville, intends to resume production when the damage is repaired.

Hedberg may be contacted at kathyhedberg@gmail.com (208) 983-2326.

Copyright 2014 - Lewiston Tribune, Idaho

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