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This article was published 6/1/2011 (2415 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
A spark at the Feed-Rite plant in St. Boniface has turned into a blaze that's dragged on for days and proven hard to extinguish.
Winnipeg fire crews spent Wednesday night and most of Thursday trying to extinguish a blaze contained in a grain-storage bin inside the Speers Road elevator. It's believed a spark from the machinery inside the hopper ignited the blaze, which is burning in the feed residue that had been encrusted along the walls of the bin.
It's the second time crews have visited the plant in the new year. A fire broke out in the same spot Monday, causing an estimated $20,000 damage.
The flammable material -- comprised of a wheat-barley mix in the troublesome bin -- is a result of a fine dust buildup from the feed-processing operation. As feed pellets are manufactured, the dust accumulates and sticks to the walls of the storage container. Over time, the caked material takes on the consistency of peat moss and once ignited, from either a spark or spontaneous ignition, the material will smoulder until the problem is addressed.
Bill Clark, assistant chief of operations for the Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service, said crews tackled the situation from a variety of angles, trying to knock the gunk off the walls and then off the horizontal grates inside the bin, while ensuring the integrity of the storage bin and building itself isn't compromised.
"The stuff is hanging up on the grates and it keeps burning up in them," Clark said. "Then they (crews) have to shake it out. Our guys are using different types of nozzles to knock this stuff off the walls and grates so we won't have to come back again."