- Associated Press - Saturday, June 14, 2014

KALISPELL, Mont. (AP) - Plum Creek Timber Co. officials say a bearing failure led to the explosions and fire at the company’s fiberboard plant in Columbia Falls.

Plum Creek spokeswoman Kate Tate said Friday that a catastrophic failure of a bearing on a raw material feed line ignited both wood fiber and the belt last Tuesday.

Tate tells the Daily Inter Lake (https://bit.ly/SJ5gbg ) that heat from the fire ignited the insulation on a duct pipe carrying wood fiber, which then caused the fiber on the inside to catch fire.

The burning wood fiber then caused a series of explosions in the ductwork at the sprawling seven-acre plant.

No damage estimates have been completed, but Tate said equipment damage was minimal.

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Information from: Daily Inter Lake, https://www.dailyinterlake.com


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