Blazes at veneer factory and Maxima supermarket

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A fire broke out Thursday morning at the Latvijas finieris wood veneer plant Lignums in Riga, reported state Fire and Rescue Service (VUGD) spokeswoman Viktorija Gribuste.

Two employees of the company – a 26-year old who suffered burns on his feet and ankles, and a 59-year old treated for smoke inhalation were both taken to hospital.

By about 11:30 the fire had been localized and was in the process of being completely extinguished about two hours after it broke out.

Firefighters determined upon arrival at the scene that the laminating presser equipment and roof were burning, sending plumes of black smoke into the air. More than 50 VUGD officers and twelve vehicles were there to fight the blaze, which caused the evacuation of the entire plant’s personnel and stopped work for the day. Company officials are still trying to determine whether production might be able to resume as soon as tomorrow.

About 250 square meters of the plant, including some of the manufacturing equipment and finished product are said to have been destroyed in the fire.

Latvijas finieris is one of the country’s leading wood-processing manufacturers, which exports around 95% of its products abroad.

In a second, unrelated incident fire crews were called to the Maxima supermarket in Gaujas street, Cesis after fire broke out in the roof.

Shoppers and staff were successfully evacuated and there were no injuries.

A statement from Maxima to LSM said the fire broke out while a new air conditioning system was being installed and that it was demanding an explanation for the blaze from contractors.

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