fire

Firefighters were on the scene of a fire that broke out Wednesday afternoon at Curran Renewable Energy in the Massena Industrial Park. Bob Beckstead/Johnson Newspapers

MASSENA — Several fire departments were called to Curran Renewable Energy in the Massena Industrial Park for a report of a fire shortly after 2 p.m. Wednesday.

Patrick O’Brien, 2nd assistant chief from the Massena Volunteer Fire Department, said that, although there’s no cause determined yet, dust particles in the vent system caught fire.

“It was accidental,” he said. “We and MED (Massena Electric Department) got there fairly quickly. MED was able to isolate the power.”

Once MED shut off the power to that area, it shut down the blower system. With no oxygen going to the blower system, the fire stopped quickly, according to Mr. O’Brien.

“There were a couple pockets of burning material,” he said. “It wasn’t hard to extinguish. It was hard to get to.”

The building contained mostly machinery, and he said one spot where they spent the most time was a large hopper that had a lot of particles.

MED returned to restore power to the building, and firefighters returned to their station at around 5:30 p.m.

Among those on the scene were fire departments from Massena, Brasher-Winthrop, Helena and Norfolk, with Louisville Fire on standby at the Massena Fire Station. Also on the scene were the Massena Police Department and Massena Rescue Squad.

A previous fire in November 2017 at the company’s large warehouse used to store wood pellets took firefighters half a day to fight and destroyed more than $1 million in wood pellets.

The Massena Volunteer Fire Department responded to that fire shortly after 9 p.m. and, nearly 12 hours later, the fire was extinguished and kept from spreading to nearby warehouses and woodlands. Several area departments were brought in to provide mutual aid.

The warehouse, which was unmanned, had 5,800 tons of wood pellets and was a total loss.

Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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