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Fire shuts down Tolko's Armstrong mill

CANADA (From news reports) -- An electrical fire knocked the power out to the Tolko Industries sawmill in Armstrong after the site's electricity substation went up in flames early Dec. 28.

The fire was discovered burning in the middle of the night and took out the electricity substation that provides power to Tolko's sawmills.

"It wasn't a big fire but it did a lot of damage," Armstrong Spallumcheen Fire Department chief Ian Cumming said.

Cumming said firefighters got the call just before 4:30 a.m. today, Dec. 28.

The fire chief said the structure was fairly isolated and because electricity was involved crews waited for B.C. Hydro to turn off the powCumming said crews made sure the blaze didn't spread and it was contained in a concrete building so it largely burned itself out.

The fire chief said there wasn't a lot to burn except the equipment itself.

Tolko spokesperson Chris Downey said some kind of electrical failure caused a smoulder in the building's roof installation which staff noticed.

Downey said the sawmill is currently shut down for the Christmas holidays and staff were supposed to return to work in the new year.

It's unclear how long it will take to fix the burnt equipment and what repercussions that will have on staff returning to work, he said.

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