Dry conditions lead to chipper mill fire

Published 11:00 pm Friday, June 1, 2012

For the third time this week, a fire broke out at the Greenvalley Chipping company in Brundidge.

Friday afternoon’s fire started when sparks from welding repairs ignited dry material around a machine that loads logs into the mill, company officials said. The fire destroyed the loader and damaged the chipper mill. No one was injured.

“When we got here the loader was fully engulfed, along with all the wood on the conveyor belt,” said Brundidge Fire Department Assistant Chief Neil Sneed. “The first truck was able to get control of it in about 8 to 12 minutes.”

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Firefighters arrived about 4 p.m. and doused the loader with about 1,200 gallons of water, Sneed said. “Then the other trucks followed up and helped put it down.”

Friday afternoon’s fire was the second call from the mill that day for firefighters. They responded earlier to reports of a flare under a drum and had responded earlier in the week to a report of flares under the conveyor belt.

Brent Chesser, Greenvalley owner, said “super dry conditions” contributed to the incidents. “I thought we were going to get some rain (Friday) but it never started … The fire departments did a great job getting out here and getting things under control.”

Chesser said the mill can be operational again once the loader is removed.

The mill is located on Highway 93 in Brundidge.