Mil­lions lost in laun­dry fire

Whitsunday Times - - LOCAL NEWS -

AN in­dus­trial laun­dry that sup­plies linen to Hamil­ton Is­land went up in flames in Cannonvale dur­ing the early hours of Thurs­day, April 10.

A Queens­land Fire and Res­cue Ser­vice (QFRS) spokesman said at 12.45am there were mul­ti­ple triple 0 calls made "reporting flames, smoke and ex­plo­sions", at Bar­rier Reef Linen on Carlo Drive.

Four crews, two each from Air­lie Beach and Proser­pine, at­tended the fire which took four hours to con­tain.

Act­ing Sta­tion Of­fi­cer for the Air­lie Beach Fire Sta­tion, Kevin To­mas, said there were 17 fire-fighters on the ground as well as Queens­land Am­bu­lance Ser­vice (QAS) per­son­nel and Queens­land Po­lice.

He said fire-fighters en­tered the com­pound and con­ducted fire sup­pres­sion, but were un­able to en­ter the build­ing it­self due to the level of heat, flames and heavy smoke.

Sta­tion Of­fi­cer To­mas said all the emer­gency ser­vices worked ex­tremely well to­gether to con­tain the blaze, un­der what he de- scribed as “ex­treme cir­cum­stances”.

He also thanked the lo­cal SES who pro­vided light­ing and man­power.

Po­lice have con­firmed the fire is not be­ing treated as sus­pi­cious.

Of­fi­cer in Charge of the Whit­sun­day Sta­tion, Act­ing Se­nior Sergeant Brad Teys said the fire ap­peared to have started from a load of hot linen in the back of a Nis­san prime-mover truck parked on the com­pound.

“But in­quiries are still be­ing con­ducted,” he said.

De­tec­tive John Kent from the Whit­sun­day Crim­i­nal In­ves­ti­ga­tion Branch (CIB) said the cost of the dam­age would “run into the mil­lions”. Bar­rier Reef Linen owner Rod Flynn said this was one of the most state-ofthe art linen plants in Aus­tralia.

“It’s de­signed around Hamil­ton Is­land’s needs and it’s the only one in the world that 100 per cent tracks all its linen with Ra­dio Fre­quency Iden­ti­fi­ca­tion (RFID) chips,” he said. Mr Flynn said the plant did about 48 tonnes of linen for Hamil­ton Is­land per week. He said he in­tended to rebuild and in the mean­time would be ser­vic­ing his client through Bar­rier Reef Linen’s oper­a­tion in Glad­stone.

AFTERMATH: The dam­age to Cannonvale's Great Bar­rier Reef Linen, to­tally de­stroyed by fire, is pre­dicted to run into the mil­lions of dol­lars.

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