Cookville coffee business temporarily closes after chimney fire

by Keith Corcoran

A family-owned coffee company was temporarily shuttered after a fire damaged a piece of equipment key in the Lunenburg County business's ability to roast the popular beverage.

Northfield district and Bridgewater volunteer firefighters were dispatched to Quest Coffee Co., off MacCulloch Road in Cookville September 21 after a shop worker discovered smoke coming from back room where a coffee grinder was located. Emergency crews were summoned at about 3 p.m.

The machine vents through its own chimney, Northfield district fire chief Darren Mulock said, but the material that comes off a coffee bean being roasted clogged the opening, causing the space to fill with greyish, black smoke.

"Once it plugged off, the smoke had no place to go but in the back room," Mulock explained to LighthouseNOW.

There were no injuries but occupants of the Quest Coffee and an attached propane business were temporarily evacuated while first responders worked the scene.

Firefighters equipped with cylinders providing them breathable air checked the machinery. Other crews went on the roof and dropped a weight down the chimney to break-up the build-up. The extracted material was then removed from building. Positive pressure fans were used to do away with the smoke.

Responders remained on scene for about an hour.

The business is insured. The impacts were isolated to the machinery and there were no issues concerning the building, Mulock indicated.

"Make sure your chimneys are clean," Mulock advised, noting the colder weather tends to yield an increase in such incidents as furnaces and fireplaces become more active.

Quest Coffee took to social media with initial updates about what was happening.

"Sad news," the company wrote later on September 21.

"We are going to be closed for a few days, maybe longer, due to a fire in our roastery. No one is hurt but we need to assess the damage ... we'll keep you up to date. Thank you for all your support."

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