Fire crews battled a blaze at one of the largest employers in the Northeast Kingdom Tuesday night.
The fire at the Ethan Allen furniture plant in Orleans erupted inside two silos.
"When we first arrived on scene we had a working fire -- in the auger that goes from the boiler room to the dust silos," said Asst. Chief Scott Burdick of the Orleans Fire Dept.
An issue with the motor that brings saw dust from the boiler room at the Ethan Allen furniture factory to the silos sparked a flame that within minutes spread to a massive fire, that required hours of work to contain.
"You couldn't see no fire from the outside, or anything. Just a ton of people were watching. You couldn't tell there was a fire you know what I mean?" explained witness Tyler Breault.
Crews from the air and the ground tackled the flames.
"We had an aerial truck set up on each tower -- on each silo. We opened each silo from the top, flooded it from the top. Open the bottom so the water will work its way through and we're just letting it penetrate the sawdust," said Burdick.
Maintenance workers from Ethan Allen say those two silos hold about two and a half 18-wheelers' worth of sawdust.
Front-end loaders will be used through the night to carry the soaking sawdust to the far side of the property and fire crews will stay to make sure nothing that's taken out is at risk of sparking up again.
"That's what maintenance will be working on tonight is digging that sawdust out and we'll be here in case there is any of it burning as they pull it out," said Burdick.
The 400 or so employees at Ethan Allen will be off Wednesday because the furniture plant will not be operating. The silos will be out of commission and maintenance crews will still have to haul all of that sawdust out of there first.
Thursday, December 12 2013 12:32 AM EST2013-12-12 05:32:39 GMT
Voting ends Thursday on a measure that could decide whether a major industrial wind project in the Northeast Kingdom moves forward. The Seneca Mountain project calls for 20 turbines on ridge lines inMore >>
Voting ends Thursday on a measure that could decide whether a major industrial wind project in the Northeast Kingdom moves forward.More >>
Wednesday, December 11 2013 11:37 PM EST2013-12-12 04:37:09 GMT
Vermont State Police say they're looking for a thief who made off with 50 gallons of diesel fuel. Authorities say it happened Wednesday morning at a farm on Shoreham Depot Road in Shoreham. They say anMore >>
Vermont State Police say they're looking for a thief who made off with 50 gallons of diesel fuel.More >>
Wednesday, December 11 2013 11:34 PM EST2013-12-12 04:34:11 GMT
Family and friends of victims Amanda Murphy and Jason Timmons -- gathered in Wilder Wednesday night for a candlelight vigil to mourn the loss of the recently engaged couple and their unborn child. MoreMore >>
Family and friends of victims Amanda Murphy and Jason Timmons -- gathered in Wilder Wednesday night for a candlelight vigil to mourn the loss of the recently engaged couple and their unborn child.More >>
Wednesday, December 11 2013 5:19 PM EST2013-12-11 22:19:28 GMT
Police say they've caught the man wanted for three bank robberies in the Upper Valley. James Oberfeldt, 30, of Claremont, is currently jailed in Massachusetts on a drug charge. Police say he's been identifiedMore >>
Police say they've caught the man wanted for three bank robberies in the Upper Valley.More >>
Wednesday, December 11 2013 6:54 PM EST2013-12-11 23:54:10 GMT
Two men are behind bars after a burglary in St. Albans. Police arrested James Perron, 27, of St. Albans, and Eric Walsh, 34, Tuesday for allegedly stealing a safe containing $15,000 in cash. It happenedMore >>
Two men are behind bars in connection with a burglary in St. Albans.More >>
Wednesday, December 11 2013 7:53 PM EST2013-12-12 00:53:13 GMT
Two Plattsburgh State students are under arrest in connection with a brawl outside a fraternity house. It happened last month outside the Alpha Chi Rho (AXP) house on Brinkerhoff Street. Police say itMore >>
Authorities say allegations of a sexual assault in Plattsburgh led to a brawl. Now, some fraternity brothers are facing charges and more could be coming.More >>