Pawtucket and Lincoln firefighters battle a smoky fire at J.S. Pallet Company at 60 Lockbridge St. in Pawtucket just after 12:30 p.m. Thursday. The fire is believed to have started in the outdoor storage yard. (Photo/Ernest A. Brown)
PAWTUCKET â€” Mix burning wooden pallets with a propane-fed fuel source and what do you get? A massive blaze of the type that kept firefighters very busy on Lockbridge Street Thursday afternoon.
At around 12:40 p.m., a fire broke out at the J.S. Pallet Company, 60 Lockbridge St. According to Capt. Robert Thurber, the city's fire marshal, a malfunctioning drying device used in the pallet-making process set off a blaze in a trailer at the commercial facility.
Thurber said the trailer had been converted into a type of kiln which is used to dry out wood for the pallets. He said that when the fire started it was continuously fed by propane. This caused spectacular flames and made the situation tricky for firefighters, who had to work to keep the propane tanks cool.
Firefighters were eventually able to bring the blaze under control. The trailer was destroyed along with about a couple hundred pallets, but no injuries were reported, Thurber said.
Because of the risky nature of the fire, there was plenty of manpower sent to the scene, including four engines and a ladder truck from Pawtucket, plus assistance from Saylesville, Lime Rock and Lonsdale Fire Districts, Thurber said.