In a sugar refinery, a rubber fire broke out at around midday in a 50 m long sugar beet washer drum during work. A subcontractor flame cutting the shell in view of replacing one of its sections. The fire that spread to 2 conveyor belts released a significant amount of black smoke. Firefighters equipped with SCBA contained the fire using four 250 l/min variable flow nozzles and 1 monitor nozzle. There were no victims but the material damage was assessed at 1 million euros. The drum was deformed by the heat. A conveyor was destroyed. The motor, the top drum and 10 m of belt of a second conveyor belt were damaged. The fire extinguishing water was collected in the sugar refinery’s water basins.
According to the operator, the fire was caused by the lack of safety measures taken by the subcontractores company (insufficient cutting of the internal rubber lining, presence of rubber waste inside the drum) and non-compliance with the measures mentioned in the hot work permit (no company fire extinguishers, no monitoring of projections and their drop-off points).