Commonwealth Journal

July 19, 2013

Local firefighters battle blaze at Somerset Pellet Fuel

By HEATHER TOMLINSON, CJ Staff Writer
Commonwealth Journal

Somerset — Local firefighters stayed busy for much of Friday morning after a fire was reported at a local business.

The Somerset Fire Department was paged out at around 9 a.m. Friday to a fire in a silo at Somerset Pellet Fuel Company, located just off North U.S. 27 between Somerset and Science Hill.

According to Somerset Fire Chief Tyler Jasper, raw sawdust being stored in the silo caught fire, causing quite a bit of smoke.

“Sawdust has a tendency to catch on fire just on its own,” said Jasper.

An already muggy day coupled with the flammability of the sawdust most likely led to the blaze.

Jasper said both of Somerset’s stations responded to the fire, and they arrived at the scene at around 9:15 a.m. Science Hill Volunteer Fire Department and Parkers Mill Volunteer Fire Department both assisted, providing water tankers for the effort to control the blaze.

Firefighters, through an opening high up on the silo, doused the sawdust with water and foam in an effort to cool the material off.

“We’ve got it soaked down pretty good,” said Jasper.

By around 11:20 a.m. Friday, firefighters were preparing to pull what remained of the sawdust out of the silo in an attempt to cool down the structure itself and ensure the smoldering didn’t continue.

“Really, all we have to do at this point is keep the stuff wet,” said Jasper.

Somerset Fire Department remained on the scene until after 1 p.m. Friday.

No injuries were reported.