Corinth pellet plant operating after fire

Posted Aug. 05, 2009, at 7:29 p.m.
Last modified Jan. 30, 2011, at 12:14 p.m.

CORINTH, Maine — Despite initial reports that pegged the damage from a fire Monday night in the thousands of dollars, the chief executive officer of Corinth Wood Pellets said Wednesday that the damage amounted to only $1,500 and that the affected piece of equipment has been repaired.

Operations at the pellet plant resumed on schedule Wednesday, after a planned two-day maintenance shutdown, Corinth Wood Pellets CEO George Soffron said.

Monday’s fire at the wood pellet manufacturing facility caused minor damage to a piece of production line equipment called a cooling tower.

The fire, however, was stopped by fire crews before it damaged the building or any of the other equipment in it.

Because the fire occurred during a scheduled shutdown, no one was at the plant at the time, Corinth Fire Chief Scott Bragdon said Tuesday. He said firefighters were alerted to the fire at about 7 p.m. by an automatic alarm system.

Though Bragdon said about 75 firefighters from Corinth, Bradford, Charleston, Garland, Glenburn, Hudson, Kenduskeag and Levant responded to the alarm, Soffron said his plant manager reported that only a handful of firefighters were required to extinguish the fire.

Corinth Wood Pellet LLC makes hardwood and softwood pellets for home heating furnaces. Soffron said it employs almost 40 people.

Monday’s fire was one of two that have caused damage, Soffron said.

The other occurred in May 2008, when a fire began in one of the exterior burners and was sucked inside the building by a fan, causing dust and insulation inside to ignite.

That fire caused an estimated $45,000 in damage and shut the plant down for two days, he said.

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