Update: Sprinklers contain fire at Downie Timber

A sprinkler system is credited with containing a fire at Downie Timber Tuesday night, says the Revelstoke fire chief.

Revelstoke firefighters respond to a fire at Downie Timber.

Revelstoke firefighters respond to a fire at Downie Timber.

A sprinkler system is credited with containing a fire at Downie Timber Tuesday night, says the Revelstoke fire chief.

Revelstoke Fire Rescue Services was alerted to a structure fire at the mill at around 9:45 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 30.

“Upon arrival,  fire crews found heavy smoke pouring from the rear of the compressor building and sprinklers activated,” said Girard in a news release. “We immediately ventilated and had an attack crew enter the structure for the fire attack.”

Fortunately, the sprinkler system was able to contain the fire, the chief said. “Without sprinklers this fire would have been a completely different matter for us.”

17 firefighters and four vehicles responded and had the fire extinguished in 30 minutes.

“Our hats are off to the great staff and management at Downie Timber who helped us when we first arrived right through to mop up,” said Girard. “We all realize how important this facility is to the community.”

The cause of the fire is said to be due to an electrical issue with one of the large air compressors.

Alan Smythe, the mill manager, said the damage was contained to the compressor room. He stressed the fire was not caused by dust issues.

Every time people hear sawmill fire they’re thinking about dust,” he said. “This was in an area that’s quite windy but very, very clean.”

The mill was up and running this morning, with the damaged equipment replaced by a rental unit, said Smythe. He estimated the cost of the damaged equipment at $30,000.

The fire department was phenomenal last night,” he said. “It was uplifting to see them on the job when I arrived on site.”

Photo: A worker inspects the damage from a fire at Downie Timber on Tuesday. ~ By Revelstoke Fire Rescue Services