Firefighters from four brigades including a specialist Hazmat crew used a variety of techniques to ensure there were no explosions while extinguishing a fire at a stockfeed business on Monday.
Fire & Rescue Acting Superintendent Rob Jansen said 23 firefighters worked for five hours to make the incident safe after staff reported a fire in a cooling tower chute.
Act Supt Jansen said they were called to the fire at Reynolds Rd, Casino, at 1.55pm on January 18, 2021.
“Fire and Rescue had two trucks from Casino, two from Lismore, a Hazmat crew from Goonellabah and one truck from Ballina attended the fire which seems to have started in a hopper,” he said.
“Firefighters used breathing apparatuses as there was a lot of fine dust and they had to flood the fire and use a fine mist to prevent a dust explosion.
“They wet the material with a hose lines connected with sprays to reduce any existence of fine dust in the smouldering material as it can cause a minor explosion which can lead to a major explosion.”
Act Supt Jansen said the firefighters evacuated 16 people from the site and set up an exclusion zone.
He said they also monitored the silo with thermal imaging technology before they begin to safely empty its contents and prevent further fire spread.
“Only essential staff remained on the site while firefighters extinguished the fire,” he said,
“The sprinkler system within the tower also activated and helped keep the fire in check as firefighters removed the burning material from the three tonne hopper.”
“The incident was stopped at 7.02pm,” he said.
“No-one was injured and the fire has not been deemed suspicious.”
Officers from Richmond Police District were also in attendance.