Nanaimo Fire Rescue crews put out a fire at DBL Disposal Services on Tenth Street early Wednesday morning. (GREG SAKAKI/The News Bulletin)

UPDATE: Crews put out fire at disposal centre in south Nanaimo

Burning hydraulic fluid from an excavator started fire at DBL Disposal late Tuesday night

Materials burned up but the building wasn’t damaged in a fire at a disposal centre in south Nanaimo on Tuesday night.

Nanaimo Fire Rescue crews were called out at 11:45 p.m. to DBL Disposal Services Ltd. on Tenth Street to find a pile of materials on fire close to the back of the building.

Five fire trucks were on scene and heavy machinery belonging to the business was also used to help fight the fire.

Dean Jones, one of the owners of DBL, said surveillance video showed the fire started in an excavator and spread to the piles. He said the building was not damaged and he expected that the depot would be open the next day.

Alan Millbank, Nanaimo Fire Rescue fire prevention officer who investigated the fire, said an electrical or mechanical malfunction in the excavator’s engine compartment triggered the fire.

“It overheated the fuel and hydraulic lines and they melted out,” Millbank said. “The hydraulic lines made some explosion-like noises because they’re under a lot of pressure and that liquid pooled up, on fire, underneath a bunch of the recycling material next to the building and that went up.”

Millbank said the machine was not operating when the fire broke out, but there are a number of potential causes for the overheating condition that sparked the fire.

“They had a guy on site, living there. He called in the 911 call, so they got there soon enough to put it out before it got the building,” Millbank said. “It took a couple hours with an excavator to get it knocked out.”

An estimated $15,000 worth of recyclable material was destroyed, plus the cost of the fire damage to the excavator. The machine’s current value is estimated at about $35,000, Millbank said, but the owner will have to find out if it can be repaired.

READ ALSO: Fires break out in scrap piles at Harmac mill

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