Firefighters using an aerial ladder truck rescued a Darigold worker who was trapped atop a 90-foot silo at the downtown Lynden milk plant as flames roared around him in a fire just after midnight Sunday, Feb. 19.
Fire Chief Gary Baar of the Lynden Fire Department said the man, whose name was not released because of federal privacy regulations, was taken by ambulance to St. Joseph hospital in Bellingham, where he was treated for smoke inhalation and released.
The extent of damage to the Darigold processing facility was unknown. Company officials could not be contacted Sunday.
Although the cause of the midnight fire could not be determined pending an investigation, Baar said flames apparently spread to a building near the silo from a fire late Saturday, Feb. 18, in a 20- by 30-foot dryer where milk is turned into powder. That fire, which was reported about 10:30 p.m. Saturday, was thought to have been extinguished.
Such dryer fires are not uncommon, Baar said.
He said Lynden firefighters and Darigold engineers using special sensors determined the fire was out. On hindsight, Baar speculated that some of those sensors may have been damaged in the initial fire and may have allowed heat to move from the dryer into filters inside the building that Darigold calls a "baghouse," Baar said.
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Copyright 2012 - The Bellingham Herald, Wash.