Fire forces evacuation of Iron Ore Company plant in western Labrador

The Canadian Press
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A fire inside the Iron Ore Co. of Canada plant in western Labrador forced the temporary shutdown of the entire facility Friday.
One worker was taken to hospital in Labrador City to be treated for possible smoke inhalation, said company spokeswoman Marsha Power Slade.

A second worker was treated at the scene and released, she said.

Ron Thomas, president of the United Steelworkers Local 5795, said the fire broke out in the plant’s concentrator around noon.

The concentrator uses huge mills to grind crushed rock into a fine, iron ore concentrate.

“The whole operation was shut down,” Thomas said. “It was a pretty big fire ... (but) everyone is accounted for and that’s the main concern.”

More than 200 people were working inside the plant at the time and all were told to leave, he said. The union represents about 1,500 employees.

The company’s own firefighting team received help from the local fire department.

“We’ve had fires before, but I don’t know if we’ve had anything as big as this,” Thomas said.

There was no indication how much damage the fire caused, but employees were told to return to work later in the afternoon once the blaze had been extinguished.

Organizations: Iron Ore Company, United Steelworkers Local 5795

Geographic location: Labrador

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  • H Jefford
    April 26, 2014 - 04:33

    There was a lot of belt fires in the early 70s when the pellets that left the ball mill and travelled through the blast furnace and the belt stopped for a very short time overheating the pellets and when the hot pellets landed on the rubber conveyor belts the conveyor belt would catch fire and a string of smoke and flame would travel trough the pellet plant until the water hoses put the flames out, there would be no damage to the belt it would be put out in a few seconds