Dog-gone fire ignites at pet food plant

Dog food stuck in the exhaust of a large piece of equipment starts two-alarm fire at Perfection Pet Foods

VISALIA – Dog food is not only fuel for your four-legged friend, it can also act as a fuel for a fire.

On March 17, the Visalia Fire Department was dispatched to Perfection Pet Foods, 1100 block of N. Miller Court, after a fire alarm was sounded at the dog food plant. Three engines and a ladder truck arrived at about 5:22 a.m. and found a large piece of motorized equipment was on fire. Employees had already exited the building and were able to tell firefighters where the fire had started.

Fire crews worked to extinguish the fire from the inside and from the roof, where fire had spread to. A second alarm was requested bringing another five engines, a ladder truck, three chief officers, one administrative captain, and one fire marshal for a total of 23 fire personnel. There were no injuries sustained to civilians or fire personnel at this fire.

Once the bulk of the fire was quickly extinguished there was a large amount of overhaul due to the amount of ground up dog food that was stuck inside the exhaust ducting to the equipment. The fire was caused by leaving the equipment operating when it should have been shut down by employees when the grinding process was completed. This caused the material inside to overheat and ignite.

There was approximately $200,000 in damage to the manufacturing equipment caused by the fire. The value of the piece of equipment was approximately $600,000 and the value of the property saved by the quick actions and limiting the fire to the one large piece of equipment. The value of the property was approximately $5 million dollars.

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