Trident Processing Plant Destroyed by Fire


SeafoodSource staff

Published on
July 21, 2008

A Chignik Bay, Alaska, seafood processing plant owned by Trident Seafoods was destroyed by fire Monday. Three employees sustained injuries from smoke inhalation.

Crews from the plant and a local construction company assisted firefighters from the small village in battling the blaze that began around 1:30 p.m. The fire soon raged out of control, forcing emergency responders and about 250 workers to evacuate due to fears that nearby ammonia tanks might explode. The fire burned through the evening.

"It certainly shuts down operations for this year," Joe Plesha, the Seattle company's chief legal officer, told the Anchorage Daily News. "We're going to send everyone home."

The condition of the three employees, who were flown to Anchorage, was not immediately available.

The cause of the fire was not known Monday, but Plesha told the newspaper that it began in a power house attached to the main canning facility. The plant was almost exclusively processing and canning sockeye, or red, salmon.

The village of Chignik Bay, on the south shore of the Alaska Peninsula about 450 miles southwest of Anchorage, has a year-round population of about 80. It has fire hydrants and a truck with a 500-gallon capacity - not enough to handle a fire of this size, said tribal administrator Debbie Carlson.

Plesha said Trident was sending a floating processor and some tenders to temporarily handle the fish.

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