VANCOUVER, WASHINGTON, US — A conveyor fire at a Port of Vancouver USA grain elevator operated by United Grain Corp. was reported the morning of Oct. 13 and brought under control by emergency responders after more than 90 minutes, The Columbian reported.
All staff were accounted for, and no injuries were reported, according to the Vancouver Fire Department. The cause of the fire was under investigation by the Vancouver Fire Marshal’s Office.
The fire was reported at 5:23 a.m. by a United Grain longshore barge operator, and fire crews arrived to find a working fire in a conveyor between a grain silo on shore and a barge, operated by Shaver Transportation, in the water, according to the fire department and United Grain.
It took more than 90 minutes to bring the fire under control, the fire department said, “due to the complexity of this incident,” the newspaper reported. Vancouver Fire units were on the scene for more than 6½ hours to extinguish the fire and ensure it was contained.
The barge was carrying 100,000 bushels of soft white wheat from United Grain’s McNary facility at the Port of Umatilla. It was 99% unloaded at the time of the fire, according to the company.
The United Grain Corp. facility at Port of Vancouver USA on the Columbia River consists of a 715-foot dock and a barge dock that allows simultaneous barge off-loading at a rate of 2,000 tonnes per hour.
Originally built in 1934 and continually expanded, the elevator has the largest storage capacity on the US West Coast at 220,000 tonnes (8.3 million bushels) with an annual handling capacity of 5 million tonnes and more than 290 silos for segregating wheat, soybeans and corn.