Fire and explosion occur at Arauco North American plant in Grayling
At approximately 10:30 a.m. on Thursday, January 30, the Arauco particleboard mill located in Grayling experienced an explosion in a self-contained enclosed area of the facility.
The Grayling Fire Department was dispatched to a report of a fire and an explosion at the Arauco Plant with unknown injuries.
Fire crews were able to control the fire in under 10 minutes and stayed with the fire for over two hours before it was completely extinguished.
Upon first responders’ arrival it was determined that there were no injuries and all contractors and Arauco personnel were accounted for. One firefighter was transported Munson Healthcare Grayling Hospital due to undisclosed reasons.
The reported incident started with a fire in a wood dryer which led to the explosion.
“Fortunately, since the fire was contained and in an enclosed area, no employees were injured or exposed to the event,” said Linda Damer, the human resources and north region manager for Arauco. “The facility’s fire detection and suppression equipment worked as designed to contain the event. In addition, City of Grayling and the surrounding firefighting crews responded immediately to the incident, resulting in rapid containment.”
The cause of the fire is under investigation, Damer said.
The Grayling, Beaver Creek, and South Branch Fire Departments responded immediately.
Alongside of the fire departments were surrounding agencies including the Grayling Police Department, Crawford Country Sheriff’s Office, Michigan State Police, Department of Natural Resources Officers, and Mobile Medical Response.
The Lyon Township Fire Department and Frederic Fire Department were both placed on standby.
“As always, in case of emergency, please be sure to call 9-1-1 before posting on social media,” said Jenny Maples, the administrative assistant for the Grayling Department of Public Safety.