Pellet Mill Fire in ME

Wednesday, July 13, 2016 @ 03:07 PM gHale


A bearing failure was the cause of an early morning fire Monday at the Maine Wood Pellet Co. in Athens, ME.

Robert Linkletter, owner and manager at the manufacturing plant said the fire was the result of “bearing failure” at the mill, and the blaze was quickly brought under control and little damage occurred. The fire was reported about 2:20 a.m. Monday.

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He also expected the mill to be back up and running Tuesday morning.

“We had a fire in a pipe — we got it out — we had a bearing go on the end of a conveyor that just got hot,” Linkletter said.

“There was a couple of bent pieces of steel, nothing serious. They’re cleaning it up right now. Hopefully we’ll be going by either the end of the day or first thing tomorrow morning.”

No one suffered an injury at the mill, which operates 24 hours a day.

Athens Fire Chief Jeremy Farmer said the fire started in dust inside a hopper in one of the large pipes that feeds from the roof onto the second floor of the mill. There was a small combustion explosion that knocked a door open and damaged a wall of an elevator chute, he said.

Fire crews from Athens, Madison, Skowhegan, Cornville and Harmony responded to the fire along with rescue units from Skowhegan and Madison. Crews were at the scene for about three hours.