A recent fire at the Parrish and Heimbecker grain terminal took place in one of the grain drags, “probably due to an overheated bearing” and the presence of chaff, says Lindsay Holm of the North Battleford Fire Department.
Grain drags move grain in and out of silos.
The fire, Holm said, “was right at the transition point from one silo to another silo.”
Holm said the fire was “was underneath one of the silos” and crews had accessibility problems.
“But we were able to actually put it out fairy quickly,” Holm said, adding crews had to take covers off drags to make sure the fire was completely extinguished.
Grain terminals can avoid the possibility of fire by “making sure those transitional points are cleaned on a regular basis,” Holm said, although there’s potential for fire when moving parts on machinery are near chaff.
Initially reported as a grain dryer fire, Parrish and Heimbecker manager Chad Olson confirmed it wasn’t. The fire took place on a conveyor by the dryer, but “it had nothing to do with the dryer,” Olson said.
Grain dryer fires have been in the news recently, including a fire producing large amounts of smoke at the North West Terminal near Unity in October.
Holm and Olson said damage costs are unclear, and Holm said it can take time to assess costs.
Olson confirmed no grain was lost, and said, “there was no grain being run at the time,” although he said grain was moved earlier.
Olson gave a “thumbs up for the North Battleford Fire Department” and said they were quick on scene and “worked hard to get things under control.”