Log pro­cess­ing plant own­ers as­sess blaze dam­age

Irish Examiner - - News - Noel Baker

The own­ers of a log pro­cess­ing plant in Mid-Cork that went ablaze early yes­ter­day said it would be to­day or to­mor­row be­fore the full scale of the dam­age can be as­sessed.

Two fire­fight­ers were hurt when a gas cylin­der ex­ploded as they bat­tled the fire at the Pal­fab fa­cil­ity in Lis­sarda near Mac­room, with nine units from the city and county fire brigades tend­ing to blaze be­fore it was brought un­der con­trol.

Cork County Fire Bri­gade said both fire­fight­ers, linked to Mac­room Fire Bri­gade, were taken to Cork Univer­sity Hos­pi­tal “as a pre­cau­tion­ary mea­sure”. They had ring­ing in their ears and were mon­i­tored for pos­si­ble shock­wave in­juries, but were dis­charged by lunchtime yes­ter­day.

Cork County Fire Ser­vice was no­ti­fied at 4.42am about the fire. It ini­tially re­sponded with five units , with two ad­di­tional units from Cork City Fire Ser­vice quickly fol­low­ing.

Within three hours , a to­tal of nine units of the fire bri­gade were try­ing to bring the fire un­der con­trol, in­clud­ing units from Mac­room, Dun­man­way, Ballincol­lig, and Ban­don.

Smoke poured from the fa­cil­ity, which pro­cesses logs into sawn tim­ber for the con­struc­tion mar­ket and is lo­cated near War­ren­scourt Woods. Pho­to­graphs tweeted by Cork City Fire bri­gade showed flames and plumes of smoke em­a­nat­ing from large cor­ru­gated roofed sheds, close to piles of wood­chip, pal­lets, and stacks of logs.

By 10am, Cork County Coun­cil said the scene was un­der con­trol al­though var­i­ous hot spots were still be­ing mon­i­tored in the after­noon.

Pal­fab was first estab­lished in 1977 but in 2013 merged with the larger Graingers sawmills based in En­niskeane to form GP Wood. The Pal­fab fa­cil­ity em­ploys 28 peo­ple but GP Wood chief fi­nan­cial of­fi­cer Pat Twomey said no­body was on the site overnight when the fire broke out.

He stressed that the fire was not caused by the re­cent drought con­di­tions.

“We don’t know what caused the fire, we can’t get ac­cess to the site,” he said.

“It was def­i­nitely not drought-re­lated.

“It’s very badly dam­aged but we don’t know the ex­tent. It will be Satur­day or Sun­day be­fore we can as­sess that prop­erly,” he added.

Sea­mus Cough­lan, a spokesman for Cork County Fire Bri­gade, said there was no in­di­ca­tion as yet to what started the fire or where it broke out in the fa­cil­ity.

Wood pro­cessed at Pal­fab comes from the En­niskeane sawmills, which em­ploys 106 peo­ple, and at the time of the Oc­to­ber 2013 merger, a com­pany state­ment also out­lined how it im­ports part-pro­cessed tim­ber from Scan­di­navia, Rus­sia, the Baltic States, and main­land Europe.

A picture from Cork City Fire Ser­vice of the fire at the sawmill ware­house in Lis­sarda, West Cork.

Smoke pour­ing from the the Pal­fab fa­cil­ity in Lis­sarda near Mac­room, which pro­cesses logs into sawn tim­ber for the con­struc­tion mar­ket and is lo­cated near War­ren­scourt Woods.

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