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Overheated machinery blamed for fire at paper straw factory

'There was quite a bit of damage to the unit itself, but none of the units on either side were affected,' says Barrie Fire official following Tuesday night blaze
A fire last night at 90 Saunders Rd., in south-end Barrie, destroyed a paper straw manufacturing business. No injuries were reported.

A paper-straw manufacturing facility in Barrie’s south end was destroyed by fire last night.

Barrie Fire received the call at 8:30 p.m. on Tuesday, April 23.

The blaze was contained to one unit at 90 Saunders Rd.

“One employee was working at the time, and there were no injuries,” Assistant Deputy Chief Justin Gilbert said this morning.

Barrie firefighters were at the scene for approximately two hours.

“It was an overheated machine that started the fire,” Gilbert said. “The fire was really hot, so there was quite a bit of damage to the unit itself, but none of the units on either side were affected.”

A damage estimate is yet to be determined.

The affected unit houses BiEco Products Inc., a company which produces paper straws.

Morteza Nomigolzar, chief executive officer of the company, answered a call to the business this morning.

“I was working outside and waiting,” he said. “The line was working and suddenly (the fire) happened.”

Nomigolzar said the machine had been operating since the morning and it overheated last night.

“I have no idea,” he answered when asked what the cleanup and rebuild could entail.

“I haven’t slept and I have to go back and see what happened. I don’t have any idea right now,” Nomigolzar explained.

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Kevin Lamb

About the Author: Kevin Lamb

Kevin Lamb picked up a camera in 2000 and by 2005 was freelancing for the Barrie Examiner newspaper until its closure in 2017. He is an award-winning photojournalist, with his work having been seen in many news outlets across Canada and internationally
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