Fire guts Canfor's Prince George plywood plant

Tue May 27, 2008 5:57pm EDT
 
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VANCOUVER. British Columbia (Reuters) - A fire has badly damaged Canfor Corp's plywood mill in Prince George, British Columbia, one of three big blazes to strike the small city overnight, officials said on Tuesday.

Canfor said its North Central Plywood mill has been left inoperable by the fire that broke out Monday evening and was still smoldering Tuesday afternoon. There were no serious injuries in the blaze.

Prince George was forced to declare a local state of emergency after burning embers from the Canfor blaze apparently triggered two other major fires in the northern British Columbia community.

The other fires were at Interior Warehousing Ltd, which stores wood products and industrial supplies, and at Canadian National Railway's railroad-tie storage yard, according to a city spokesman.

The Canfor mill employed about 250 people and had an annual production capacity of 185 million square feet of plywood. The company said the incident was not expected to have a material financial impact.

The cause of the fire was still under investigation but a company official said it appeared to have started in the dryer area of the plant and spread to dust in the roof.

(Reporting Allan Dowd, editing by Peter Galloway)