Fire damages mine wash plant conveyor

From Local Sources

IRELAND — Fire damaged the wash plant conveyor at the Shamrock Mine northwest of Ireland on Saturday.

Units of the Ireland Volunteer Fire Department were called to the mine at county roads 750W and 450N at 4:57 p.m.

The conveyor taking coal to have dirt and rock washed off it had been shut down at midnight, according to Fire Chief Stan Seifert. A mine official who passed by the area at 3 p.m. did not notice anything amiss then, so it is possible a failing bearing could have smoldered until smoke was noticed about an hour later, Seifert surmised.

A 25-foot section of a 5-foot-wide belt burned, as did a 20-foot section of a 3-foot-wide belt.

The fire department set up a water dump tank and poured water on the conveyor and a hopper to ensure the fire was subdued.

Damage was estimated between $25,000 and $35,000.

Four trucks and 12 firefighters were on the scene about 45 minutes.

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