Star City grain dryer catches fire

STAR CITY — Several hundred bushels of feed barley were lost at a grain dryer fire in the RM of Star City.

Melfort Fire and Rescue responded to a reported fire in a grain dryer at 1:00 a.m. on Oct. 1.

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Upon arrival and investigation, a well involved fire was located within a dryer unit.

Firefighters knocked the fire down through hose streams from outside the dryer.

Jason Everitt, Melfort’s fire chief, said the team worked with the producer to dump the grain once the bulk of the fire was out.

“We proceeded for several hours to get in there and get all the hot spots out,” Everitt said. “They’re not designed for human occupancy, they’re designed for strictly process, so we have to work around some interesting engineering and design concepts in those structures.”

Firefighters utilized Lock Out / Tag Out prior to entering the dryer.

“Lock Out/ Tag Out is a safety system that started in industry many, many years ago,” he said. “Basically what it does is it controls energy sources, whether it’s electrical, whether it’s pressure, whether it’s water or anything like that. So especially when we’re entering a confined space, Lock Out/ Tag Out is essential to make sure all the hazardous energy is neutralized and controlled by us.”

After several hours the fire was deemed to have been extinguished.

No injuries were reported, but all the barley in the grain dryer was lost. The dryer did not sustain damage beyond scorching.

“We used some foam concentrate as well to help penetrate into the material, so all the stuff that was in there that we were able to drain out is considered a lost,” he said.

The cause of the fire is not yet known.

“We typically see a few of these every year, especially with everything being as wet as it was grain dryers are very common so typically we see one or two of these every year.”

 

 

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