Fire at fibreboard plant controlled quickly
A fire that broke out at the Dongwha Patinna MDF fibreboard plant last night is being investigated by the company.
Fire crews responded to the blaze at the factory near State Highway 1, between Mataura and Edendale, at 5.25pm. A fire communications spokesman said Mataura, Gore and Edendale crews were called after an alarm was activated at the plant.
Mataura volunteer fire brigade chief fire officer Neil Rogan said the fire was contained by Dongwha Patinna staff before fire crews arrived but firefighters remained on site to dampen it down.
"There is flammable material so we just stuck around to make sure it was all under control and contained," he said.
Dongwha Patinna operations manager Simon Callaghan said the cause of the fire in the plant's press would be investigated by the company. The company's website says "the press is the heart of the MDF manufacturing process".
Temperatures can reach a maximum of 230 degrees Celsius and the press runs 24 hours, seven days a week. Mr Callaghan said the systems in place had worked, and the fire was dealt with and under control pretty quickly.
"All fires on site have the potential to become serious because of the material used in the manufacturing process, so it was good to see the systems that include automated and human response do their job."
Last night, Mr Callaghan told The Southland Times it was too early to say if there was major damage but with the fire out so fast he was optimistic any damage would be minor.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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