HANTSPORT, N.S. — Employees at the industrial manufacturing plant in Hantsport are back to work after being evacuated in the early morning hours of Nov. 18.
Hantsport firefighters, with mutual aid coming from Brooklyn, Windsor and Wolfville, were called to CKF Inc. around 5:50 a.m. Additional departments provided standby service at the station.
“Upon arrival, we had heavy smoke showing from the plant. Upon entry, crews found a fire in one of the plant production machines,” said Hantsport deputy fire chief Paul Maynard in an interview at the scene.
“The staff engineers here are assessing the damage. It is significant to the electrical and hydraulic system on the machine. It didn’t impact any of the other machines in the building,” said Maynard, noting the fire occurred in the main building where the newer machines are housed.
Maynard said there were a lot of electrical components to contend with, which was challenging.
“We had to isolate the electrical. The machinery is a fairly significant size so it was just a matter of gaining access to where the fire was,” said Maynard.
“The other challenge was we did have some extension into the ceiling and roof area of the building.”
Brooklyn, Windsor and Wolfville aerial trucks were required to tackle the fire that had extended into the roof.
“It’s a pretty laborious, intensive exercise when you get into industrial firefighting so we needed quite a few crews here to circulate people. It was extremely hot inside the building as well so we had to keep crews rotated out,” said Maynard.
The plant, located on Prince Street, produces food service and packaging products. It is Canada’s largest manufacturer of single use paper plates under the Royal Chinet brand name.
Maynard commended the quick thinking by the employees when the fire occurred.
“I think it was a job well done by everyone involved, including the staff here, who made the initial attack on the fire but realized quite quickly that it was a little more than they could handle and got out immediately,” said Maynard. “Everybody is safe, and that’s the main thing. There were no injuries to anybody, including staff, so that’s always a good day.”
At 8 a.m., fire crews were still on scene monitoring the situation to ensure the fire did not extend further but were starting to pack up.