Major fire at Taranaki Sawmills

Last updated 07:39 20/02/2013
CAMERON BURNELL

Fire at Taranaki Pine Sawmill Bell Block.

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CAMERON BURNELL
Firefighters were called to a blaze at Taranaki Sawmills in Bell Block late last night

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Seven fire crews were called to a major blaze at Taranaki Sawmills in Bell Block last night.

Firefighters were called to the scene on Hudson Rd just after 10.30pm.

"The workers were on smoko break and heard a bang and looked out there and saw a the building was on fire," senior station officer Nick Burke told the Taranaki Daily News last night.

"When we arrived the fire was showing up well, the building was well alight," Mr Burke said.

Mr Burke said two crew were initially called to the scene but a third alarm was transmitted and crews from Inglewood, Waitara and Oakura were called in.

The fire is thought to have started in one of the planers in the planer mill, but fire safety are investigating.

"It was picked up by the extraction systems and got into their shavings," Mr Burke said.

Taranaki Sawmills chief executive officer Tom Boon said there were about 30 workers on last night and all were accounted for.

The planer mill was an important part of the company's operation but a second planer in the building was not damaged, he said.

"Its crucial, it's not going to be an overnight fix that's for sure, there's pretty extensive damage from what I can see," Mr Boon said.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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