Nfld. & Labrador

Crews battle overnight fire at Corner Brook Pulp and Paper

The mill's emergency whistle started blaring around 11:30 p.m, after the blaze broke out in one of the mill's paper machines.

Mill's emergency whistle started sounding around 11:30 p.m.

The blaze shot flames through the roof of the mill. (Submitted by Bryan Joseph Tourout)

Emergency crews battled an overnight fire at the Corner Brook mill on Thursday night into early Friday morning.

The Corner Brook Pulp and Paper's emergency whistle began blaring around 11:30 p.m. as the fire started to flare up. 

Pictures posted on social media showed flames visible through the top of the building. 

Just before the mill whistle began blasting, firefighters at Corner Brook's fire department spotted the flames from the department's parking lot, which overlooks the mill. Crews assembled and headed down to help the mill's on-site fire brigade.

A paper machine had caught fire, said Corner Brook's Deputy Fire Chief Craig Harnum.

"The majority of the fire was located near the roof itself, and the opening in the roof, so that made it look a little worse than what it was," said Harnum.

"Sometimes pictures make things look a whole lot worse than what they really were."

Fire at Corner Brook Pulp and Paper Mill

2 years ago
Duration 1:42
An emergency whistle blares as a fire burns at Corner Brook's Pulp and Paper Mill

Harnum said within 20 minutes the blaze was brought under control, with between 22 to 25 firefighters from the two squads working hand-in-hand.

"It was quite a response from both crews, and as always we were able to unite a good attack approach and able to bring the fire under control relatively quickly," he said. 

"As I understand, it wasn't nearly as bad as the dramatic flames would indicate," Mayor Jim Parsons told CBC Radio's Newfoundland Morning.

Parsons said fires aren't uncommon at the mill, and it's also not uncommon for the city's fire department to be called in from time to time. Harnum said it happens about a half dozen times a year.

"Our guys are pros, so they don't get too panicked about these things. They were able to work with the Kruger team to get this sorted fairly efficiently," said Parsons.

City crews were back at the station by about 2:00 Friday morning, said Parsons.

It's not clear yet how the fire started, or how much damage it did. As of Friday morning steam was once again rising from the mill's stacks.

The mill's fire brigade is investigating how the fire started.

CBC asked Corner Brook Pulp and Paper for an interview, but that request was deferred to its parent company Kruger.

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