Log processing plant owners assess blaze damage
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.