No Injuries Reported From Sawdust Fire at Hardel Mutual Plywood in Chehalis

Fire Likely Caused by Spark In Sawdust Vacuum; Fire Contained To Exterior Bins 


While there was a large volume of fire in a sawdust bin at Hardel Mutual Plywood on Thursday evening, no one was injured and the fire did not spread to the company’s main structure. 

The fire most likely started in a sawdust vacuum system on site, said Lewis County Fire District 6 Chief Ken Cardinale. 

“Sometimes they get a spark either from a rock or a nail or something that gets into that sawdust material and then causes the fire,” said Cardinale. “I wouldn't say they're common, but they do occur at these facilities. We probably have two or three of these that occur every year around the county.” 

The fire was inside the sawdust bins outside the building, which had sprinkler systems installed and “held it in check” until fire personnel were able to arrive. 

District 6 responded and called neighboring Lewis County Fire District 5 to assist, said Cardinale. 

Crews attacked the fire from above for about an hour and a half before it was extinguished, he said. 

“We put it out to keep it from spreading to the inside and cleaned up and went home,” he said.