BURNS LAKE, B.C. -- A fire at pine wood pellet manufacturer Pinnacle Renewable Energy Group's Burns Lake plant injured three workers, according to published reports.
Leroy Reitsma, president of Pinnacle Renewable Energy, told CTV News Vancouver that the "fire and explosion originated inside a drying machine during a maintenance shutdown."
An official investigation into the cause of the fire at Pinnacle's Burns Lake plant has yet to be launched.
On May 20, 2014, Pinnacle was fined over $220,000 by WorkSafe BC, an agency promoting workplace health and safety for workers in the British Columbia province, for combustible dust violations at its Quesnel, Burns Lake and Strathnaver facilities.
WorkSafe BC has heavily investigated approximately 150 wood plants for combustible dust violations since the fatal 2012 explosions at Lakeland Mills (Prince George, Vancouver) and Babine Forest Products (Burns Lake). In 2013 the agency offered nine recommendations on how to prevent comdust explosions.
Pinnacle is a private company founded by the Swaan family of Quesnel, and it has been in operation for more than 20 years and is the longest established pellet producer in Western Canada. The company employs workers at its six pellet manufacturing facilities in Houston, Burns Lake, Meadowbank, Quesnel, Williams Lake and Armstrong.
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