MAPLE RIDGE, BC - Waldun Forest Products, reportedly one of the world's largest manufacturers of cedar roofing shakes and shingles, was destroyed in a fire Saturday night.
The mill's owner told CTV News that he planned to rebuild the manufacturing operation. The devastating fire put some 60 employees at least temporarily out of work. The fire spared the warehouse, allowing the company to fulfill some of its customers' orders.
Waldun Forest Products' employees told CTV that the mill caught fire late Saturday night; the building was surrounded by flames less than 30 minutes later.
Fire officials continued to investigate what caused the fire. The mill was featured in a video tour starring home improvement personality Bob Villa late last year.
Fires have taken their toll on several British Columbia mills this year. Deadly fires at Babine Forest Products of Burns Lake in January and Lakeland Mills of Prince George in April led WorkSafeBC, a government agency akin to OSHA, to step up inspections and enforcement of combustible dust issues at sawmills and wood product plants throughout British Columbia. WorkSafeBC has already inspected 173 sawmills.
In addition, inspections of 266 wood processing operations where WorkSafetBC said dust accumulation could be a safety hazard, have so far resulted iin 46 write ups for dust accumulations, three for unsafe air compressor use, 26 for dust collection system issues and 155 other regulations.
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