Fire in dryer at Taranaki By-Products

Last updated 08:58 17/12/2012

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Firefighters spent more than four hours at a fire at Taranaki By-Products, on Kohiti Rd in Okaiawa, overnight.

Hawera chief fire officer Darryl Fowler said the fire started in a commercial dryer, used to dry blood and bone, at the plant about 11.30pm.

"We left about 3.30am this morning," he said.

"There are three dryers that are connected and the fire was in dryer one. They (dryers) are each about 15-20m long and 5m in diameter."

Mr Fowler said the fire was relatively small, but had the potential to be much bigger.

"It's fire service procedure in an industrial area to bring in resources early so they are on hand if it gets big."

"We had two crews from Hawera, one from Manaia, one from Eltham and one from Stratford - so about 20 guys."

Mr Fowler said the job took four hours because firefighters had to make sure the fire had not spread to the two other dryers.

"We had to take dryers apart to gain access to them, in the end we filled the dryer system with water and drowned it."

An ambulance was also called to the scene when one of the firefighters suffered heat exhaustion.

"The ambulance was called as a precaution; he wasn't feeling well so we got a local paramedic to check him out," Mr Fowler said.

"We put it down to heat exhaustion because it was quite warm in there."

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