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Site evacuated and roads closed as blaze breaks out at plant

AT THE READY: Emergency services take charge at a fire in the Riverina Stockfeeds plant.
AT THE READY: Emergency services take charge at a fire in the Riverina Stockfeeds plant. Janelle Mclennan

RIVERINA Stockfeeds' manufacturing plant was evacuated yesterday after a fire broke out at the Casino site.

A NSW Fire and Rescue spokesman said 20 staff were evacuated when the blaze broke out just before noon in a hopper at the base of one of the silos at the Reynolds Rd factory.

Emergency services personnel rushed to the scene and when they arrived there was a large amount of smoke billowing from the hopper.

Crews from Essential Energy were on the scene within minutes and cut off the power supply to the factory.

After attending the scene, Richmond Local Area Command duty officer Inspector Bill McKenna said firefighters were working to ensure the fire did not spread or reignite.

"It appears that a hopper at the bottom of one of the silos may have overheated," he said.

"That caused a large amount of smoke at the factory."

A NSW Fire and Rescue spokesman said crews worked for several hours to ensure no hot embers spread and ignited more fires.

"There was a fire in a hopper and small fires in exhaust ducting at the factory," he said.

"When you are dealing with ducting and conveyor belts it takes a fair bit of time disassembling things to check that the fire hasn't spread."

The spokesman said it had been declared a hazmat incident, which was standard for a fire in a hopper or silo.

It is understood nobody was injured in the fire.

Richmond Valley Council set up a one-kilometre exclusion zone around the site of the fire and put in place a number of road closures.

The closures affected the intersections of Summerland Way and Reynolds Rd, and Reynolds and Savilles rds.

Topics:  nsw fire and rescue, richmond valley council


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