BLAINE - A buildup of peanut dust and debris is suspected of causing a small fire in the Golden Nut Company's roasting room earlier this week, the Whatcom County fire marshal said Thursday, Dec. 27.
Supervisors expect the peanut butter factory at 1555 Odell Road in Blaine will be back in business sometime next week. Sprinklers doused the smoke and flames with hundreds of gallons of water at 11 a.m. Wednesday, damaging the company's stockpile of nuts.
Nobody was hurt in the fire. The flames were mostly contained to a single roaster about the size of a car.
Buildup in the ventilation system - similar to creosote buildup in a chimney - probably sparked and fueled the flames, said Fire Marshal Will Anderson. At the time, the oven was preheating at about 230 degrees.
Anderson noted the piping had been cleaned out within the past week. An estimate of property damage wasn't available Thursday.