A fire severely damaged a stores building at Proserpine Mill on Friday, January 10, 2020. It is likely it will need to be demolished and rebuilt, according to Wilmar Sugar’s Mackay Regional Operations Manager, Craig Muddle.
A fire severely damaged a stores building at Proserpine Mill on Friday, January 10, 2020. It is likely it will need to be demolished and rebuilt, according to Wilmar Sugar’s Mackay Regional Operations Manager, Craig Muddle.

What's next for Proserpine Mill building after blaze

THE fire that ripped through the stores building at Proserpine Mill last Friday (January 10) will likely not affect the 2020 crushing season start date, according to management.

The building sustained significant structural damage in the blaze and it is likely it will need to be demolished and rebuilt, according to Wilmar Sugar's Mackay Regional Operations Manager, Craig Muddle.

"We are taking stock of damage from the fire - almost all of the building's contents are unsalvageable," Mr Muddle said.

"The area has been made safe and we have commenced our recovery planning. Our primary focus is on identifying the equipment that is critical for our maintenance season work.

"We are sourcing replacement materials from our other mills, where possible, and working with our suppliers to reorder other equipment and parts.

"While the fire has created additional challenges for the maintenance period, we do not expect it to impact the start date for Proserpine's 2020 crushing season."

Tools, uniforms and other consumables were destroyed in the blaze, resulting in more than $1million worth of damage.

Initial reports to police were that the fire may have been suspicious, according to Sergeant Dave Murray.

"Police declared a crime scene and detectives from the Whitsunday CIB investigated the incident and were able to determine the fire was caused by an electrical fault and not the result of arson," he said.

"Estimates of damage are in excess of one million dollars."

Three fire crews attended, at about 3.15am, and were able to contain the fire to the inside of the building by about 3.40am. Officers wearing breathing apparatus continued to fight the blaze from inside and crews had fully extinguished the fire in the gutted building by 5am.

No one was hurt in the blaze.