41° F
Mostly Cloudy
Mostly Cloudy
37° F
Patches of Fog
Patches of Fog
28° F
Light Freezing Fog
Light Freezing Fog

Bearing failure caused fiberboard plant fire

By The Associated Press
Published On: Jun 14 2014 11:13:41 AM MDT
Plum Creek Damage

Plum Creek Timber Co. officials say a bearing failure led to the explosions and fire at the company's fiberboard plant in Columbia Falls.
Plum Creek spokeswoman Kate Tate said Friday that a catastrophic failure of a bearing on a raw material feed line ignited both wood fiber and the belt last Tuesday.
Tate tells the Daily Inter Lake (http://bit.ly/SJ5gbg ) that heat from the fire ignited the insulation on a duct pipe carrying wood fiber, which then caused the fiber on the inside to catch fire.
The burning wood fiber then caused a series of explosions in the ductwork at the sprawling seven-acre plant.
No damage estimates have been completed, but Tate said equipment damage was minimal.