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Hawley Fire Battles Dryer Fire

Water can be seen spraying from lower right toward the center of the dryer.

Last week, fire and rescue crews from Hawley responded to a dryer fire at the Hawley Elevator’s south plant on County Road 31. Flames and smoke were visible from the structure and firefighters quickly put out the flames with a steady stream of water, seen in the photo to the left.
Hawley Fire Chief Justin Martin told the Herald that elevator fires can be extremely dangerous and potentially explosive.
“A fire in an elevator is dangerous because of a dust explosion especially in an older wood crib style elevator like what’s downtown.  You always have dust in them, but they have to be diligent about making sure it doesn’t get too built up.  Luckily our local elevator does a good job with their housekeeping.  They also allow us to do a lot of training with them and at their facilities, so when things like this happens, we are pretty familiar with the equipment, how it works, and how we want to mitigate it.  However, with the dryer fire we had today, a dust explosion isn’t much of a concern.  That dryer is well vented, and usually any dust blows out of it when it’s running. If it was going to blow up from a dust explosion, it would have done it long before we get there, since there is a burner that is about 25 feet long and probably a couple million BTUs in it that has an open flame going whenever it runs,” Chief Martin said.

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