Firefighters respond to smoke in nut factory

A timer malfunction led to smokey peanuts and a visit from the fire department at CB's Nuts.

KINGSTON — A night shift employee in Kingston briefly left the building he was working at and returned to find firefighters at the front door in the early morning hours of April 7.

North Kitsap Fire & Rescue responded to a 3 a.m. fire alarm at CB’s Nuts roasting facility on Highway 104.

An unattended appliance used to roast peanuts began sending smoke up and out of the 14,500-square-foot building. The smoldering fire was contained to the roasting appliance and was quickly put out.

“It wasn’t a big deal,” said Tammy Bowen with CB’s Nuts. “It wasn’t even a fire.”

“But thank God for the fire department coming and responding,” she added.

Bowen said that the roasting appliances have timers on them that give notice to workers when they are finished. A timer failed, however, and did not send the notice to the employee, so the peanuts continued to roast until heavily smoking.

That smoke is what North Kitsap firefighters saw billowing out of the building as they arrived. Additional firefighters from Bainbridge Island and Poulsbo were initially called to assist, but were soon called off after the small fire was quickly put out.

North Kitsap firefighters spent an additional hour airing the building out and removing burnt peanuts from the appliance. There was no smoke damage, though fumes from the fire could be smelled throughout the building for some time after the incident, according to Michelle Laboda with North Kitsap Fire & Rescue.

Laboda noted that the fire alarm gave enough warning for firefighters to arrive seven minutes after it went off, preventing additional damage, and before heat-sensitive sprinklers could be activated.