Tannery fire results in minor damage to equipment

Posted March 23, 2011, at 8:01 p.m.
Last modified March 24, 2011, at 9:14 a.m.

HARTLAND, Maine — Damage from a fire at Prime Tanning Co. on Tuesday did little in the way of damage but tied firefighters up for about four hours, according to Hartland Volunteer Fire Department Chief Donald Neal.

The fire, which broke out just after 1 p.m. at the company’s Pleasant Street facility, was confined mostly to a dust collection system. The first firefighters on the scene found fire and smoke pouring from a vent. Neal said Wednesday the fire started in a buffing dust collection system.

“All it did was burn the belts off one of the big motors that draws the dust out,” he said. “It filled the room up with smoke, but that was about it.”

Neal said the fire was difficult to extinguish because water just pushed the dust around, so crews attacked it with foam.

“It was just a stubborn fire,” he said. No one was injured. Crews from St. Albans and Canaan helped at the scene.