A fire early Thursday morning destroyed the main building at the Meadow Creek Forest Products sawmill at Cooper Creek, BC. There is no word yet on the cause or the total damage estimate. About a dozen people were employed at the mill, which restarted this year following a three-year closure.
Kaslo RCMP Cpl. Shaun Begg said when police arrived, the mill was fully engulfed by the blaze, which continued for several hours. While that there was a rudimentary fire suppression system on site, it was hampered by cold weather, and despite the efforts of mill workers, there was no way to stop the flames.
Elsewhere, crews from three counties battled a fire at a lumber business in Adams County, PA, also early Thursday morning.
In BC, investigators will return to the Meadow Creek site Friday when the scene cools down to try to determine the fire’s origin, which is not believed to be suspicious.
The area has no formal fire protection. Regional District of Central Kootenay fire chief Terry Swan received a call early Thursday morning requesting that the Kaslo fire department respond, but he declined permission.
San Group of Surrey, BC, bought the mill along with the Meadow Creek Cedar timber license this past spring. Under its previous owner, the mill was cited by WorkSafeBC for numerous safety violations.
The Mountain Valley Farms and Lumber Products fire in south central Pennsylvania heavily damaged a building at a lumber yard. The location is in a remote area near Biglerville, PA.
The fire destroyed a building that was used to manufacture wood pallets.
Work was not going on at the time and no one was hurt.