Auger Ignites Fire in Seed Storage Silo

Fire officials said the fire started in an auger before flames spread to the top of the silo at the Spokane Seed facility.

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Spokane Valley Fire Department personnel responding to a fire in a seed storage silo at the Spokane Seed facility in Spokane, WA.Image courtesy of Spokane Valley Fire Department

Firefighters were sent to the Spokane Seed Co. processing facility in Spokane, WA in the early hours of Friday morning after a smoldering fire ignited in a multi-story seed storage silo, the Spokane Valley Fire Department (SVFD) announced.

Responding to the incident just after midnight, the first crew on scene did not observe any flames or smoke in the silo but were informed by staff that the blaze was inside the container.

“The difficulty involving the fire was that it was located in multiple locations as the origin was the auger unit that moved material from ground level and delivers it to the top of the silo therefore there was smoldering material located at the bottom of the auger and burning material that had been delivered to the top of the silo,” the fire department said in the release.

About 60,000 bu of material was inside when silo when the fire started. Crews used aerial ladders to access decking attached to the top of the silo during the response. Spokane Seed staff worked to transfer unaffected material to another container as firefighters stood at the ready with charged hose lines in the event that dust or other materials ignited.  

“The major hazard was the dust created from moving the material as the dust is extremely flammable and has potential to explode based on the overall volume,” wrote SVFD.

Firefighters mitigated the hazard in about two hours.

Spokane Seed cultivates, processes, and markets dried lentils, chickpeas, and peas, according to information on its website.

About the Author(s)

Powder Bulk Solids Staff

Established in 1983, Powder & Bulk Solids (PBS) serves industries that process, handle, and package dry particulate matter, including the food, chemical, and pharmaceutical markets.

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