Plum Creek begins recovery after Montana blast

A day after explosions set its Columbia Falls, Montana plant on fire, Plum Creek Timber Company is starting to pick up the pieces.

Nearby residents reported two or three loud blasts around 3 p.m. Tuesday, though the cause of the explosions is as of yet undetermined.

It took fire and emergency officials all afternoon to quell the fire, but fortunately, all workers were safely led outside without sustaining any major injuries. A few were treated on-site for smoke inhalation.

“We are very thankful that all of our employees are safe," said Tom Ray, VP Northwest resources and manufacturing. “Everyone at Plum Creek commends the efforts by fire departments to protect the people working at the facility. Their work is greatly appreciated."

Today, the company reported that a recovery effort was underway at the medium density fiberboard (MDF) facility. There was still some residual fire activity during the early morning hours, which fire crews promptly put out.

The company is investigating the cause of the fire, but in the meantime, production will be suspended for about 30 days.

At Plum Creek's nearby sawmill and plywood mills, everything is business as usual.

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