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Fire at Interstate mill damages machinery

POSTED: July 13, 2009 10:03 a.m.
Fire crews douse the conveyer belt at Interstate Paper in Riceboro, which was damaged by a fire Satu/

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A fire at Interstate Paper in Riceboro damaged machinery at the plant Saturday afternoon. Several fire and rescue departments from Liberty County responded.
According to Riceboro Fire and Rescue Chief Earl McGinley, the fire began shortly after 2 p.m. McGinley said as he approached the fire from South Coastal Highway, he could see heavy, dark plumes of smoke coming from the plant.  
When firefighters arrived they found a conveyor belt, which is used for loading logs into a debarking machine, and the building that houses wood chips in flames. Using a ladder truck from the Eastern District and water tanks from the Midway, Lake George and Walthorville Fire and Rescue departments, crews got 95 percent of the fire contained in 45 minutes.
McGinley said it was too early to determine what caused the fire or what impact the damage to the machinery will have on the plant’s operations.
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