The fire, which broke out just after 1pm at the company’s Pleasant Street facility, was confined mostly to a dust collection system. The first firefighters on the scene found fire and smoke pouring from a vent. Neal said the fire started in a buffing dust collection system.

‘All it did was burn the belts off one of the big motors that draws the dust out,’ he said. ‘It filled the room up with smoke, but that was about it.’

Neal said the fire was difficult to extinguish because water just pushed the dust around, so crews attacked it with foam.

‘It was just a stubborn fire,’ he said. No one was injured. Crews from St. Albans and Canaan helped at the scene at the tannery which was acquired by Tasman from February 14.