Odour could increase in Morinville
Weekend blaze disables dryer at Champion Petfoods
By: By Megan Sarrazin
| Posted: Saturday, Sep 15, 2012 06:00 am
Morinville residents might notice a stronger odour of pet food in the air after a fire last weekend damaged a dryer at the Champion Petfoods plant.
Firefighters responded at about 4:30 a.m. last Saturday to find a fire inside one of the facility’s pet food dryers.
“The guys opened the doors on it … (and) once they hit it with water, there was lots of steam and smoke that filled the building,” said Ken Thiemann, deputy chief of operations.
He said the dryer is a “pretty good size machine” measuring roughly 30-feet long, 12-feet high and eight-feet wide. Firefighters were on scene for roughly three hours.
A crew was working at the plant at the time of the blaze and discovered the fire after doing rounds. They were working in another part of the building and no one was injured.
“We talked to the manager who was there and he figures either a real fine dust built up or else one of the belts broke on the machine itself and it just overheated the product,” Thiemann said.
The dryer, located in kitchen one, is one of two at the facility and was destroyed in the blaze. President and CEO Frank Burdzy said via email that no other equipment was damaged.
He said it could take up to 14 weeks until a new dryer is installed, which means residents will have to be patient as increased odour could be released.
“Our experts advised that the odour was really an issue in kitchen two, and not (kitchen one),” he said. “To be honest though, there may be certain periods when duration and intensity of the odour is stronger than we want because we’re cooking some foods that should be in the kitchen with the new chimney.”
Kitchen one has a high-tech chimney aimed at decreasing the odour released into the air.
Despite the setback, work will continue as usual at the facility and no employees will be affected.
“We’ll need bodies to install the dryer, and we’ll rework the schedule to keep everyone going,” Burdzy said. “They have families to feed.”