Fire destroys bagger at Pastway Planing

COMBERMERE – A local lumber mill has faced its second structural fire within a year. 
At 6:06 p.m. on January 3, the Madawaska Valley Fire Department was called to a fire at Pastways Planing Limited on Rockingham Road in Combermere. 
When they arrived, they discovered the bagger building, which is used to bag wood shavings, was engulfed in flames. At that point, Fire Chief Andrew Peplinski requested further help from local firefighters along with mutual aid. 
A total of 28 firefighters were on scene from the MV and Brudenell-Lyndoch-Raglan fire departments. A total of four pumpers, three tankers and one rescue unit were also on scene. They managed to save the abutting buildings and lumber piles from the blaze. 
According to Peplinski, the Renfrew County EMS Command unit was dispatched to the scene for firefighter assessment and rehab if needed. 
Temperatures plummeted to minus 22 degrees Celsius that evening. 
“The cold weather did not hamper our efforts as we had a quick response and a rapid suppression attack,” Peplinski explained. “During the night the cold started to freeze our lines but we had started to reduce the original attack lines by that point.”
The fire is not deemed suspicious in nature but there were no electrical issues identified, the fire chief explained. 
“The building was energized but no equipment was being used,” he explained. 
Read more in the January 8, 2014 issue of The Valley Gazette.