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Bearing failure caused fiberboard plant fire

By The Associated Press
Published On: Jun 14 2014 11:13:41 AM MDT
Plum Creek Damage
KALISPELL, Mont. -

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.