Squirrel started cheese factory fire spoiling 20,000 gallons of milk

By Daniel Uria   |   Aug. 10, 2017 at 2:13 PM
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Aug. 10 (UPI) -- Nearly 20,000 gallons of milk were spoiled after a squirrel caused a fire at a cheese factory in Canada.

Emergency crews responded to a fire at Scardillo Cheese in Burnaby, British Columbia, at 9 a.m. Tuesday after a squirrel chewed through a piece of equipment, the Vancouver Sun reported.

The flames damaged a main power line, causing the factory and 150 residents in the surrounding area.

"There was a powerline that ran down along the exterior of the pole into the ground and then into the cheese factory only about 30 or 40 feet away," assistant fire Chief Laine Zimmermann told Burnaby Now. "It was a main powerline servicing that building."

Five fire trucks and 15 firefighters responded to the fire, but were unable to deal with the blaze directly because the power line was still active.

It took about 12 hours to restore power to the factory and 20,000 gallons of milk were left to spoil and warm.

Most of the cheese was protected in rented generators, but Scardillo Cheese said it expects to lose about a week of production disposing of and cleaning up the spoiled milk.

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