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UPDATED: Mill fire in Powell River under control

Fire crews respond to blaze on A dock
EXTINGUISHING BLAZE: Powell River Fire Rescue responded to a fire in a warehouse in the Catalyst Powell River mill’s A dock warehouse on June 25

A fire in a warehouse on June 25 on A dock at Powell River’s Catalyst paper mill is now under control.

Fire chief Terry Peters said all the fire department’s crews were at the fire.

“We’re working incredibly closely with the mill staff, with their emergency response team and the mill supervising staff,” said Peters. “We’ve got it under control. It was a close one here.

“There was a sprinkler system in the building and it did help.”

Peters said fire crews had been onsite since the fire started. He said there is significant content damage in the warehouse with paper rolls having caught fire.

Peters said it was too early to speculate on a cause of the blaze.

“We have no idea at this time,” he said. “Investigation will be pending, but the fire’s definitely in the warehouse.”

On June 30, Jason Lennox, the mill’s health and safety manager, said the episode was a good example of unified command with the fire department, the mill’s emergency response team, operators and staff.

“It went very well,” said Lennox. “I saw a lot of good examples working as a team. We saved the structure with minimal damage and nobody was hurt. Those are really positive things out of what could have been a serious event.”

Lennox said determining the root cause of the fire is going to be very difficult because there is nothing obvious that has been found in the preliminary investigation.

“We’re still working on that,” said Lennox.