SAGINAW, Ore. - Whitsell Wood Products' 180,000-square-foot plant in Oregon was completely destroyed by a blaze that could be seen as far as 20 miles away.
The fire, first reported at 7:30 pm last Sunday the 27th, completely engulfed the mill within 30 minutes. Flames in the mill could be seen from a half-mile away - while billowing 3,000-foot plumes of smoke could be seen in the town of Eugene around 20 miles to the north. After the fire decimated the mill, it spread to the rest of the company's 46-acre site, engulfing the log supply.
Firefighters say it is unclear what caused the fire. No injuries were reported.
Damages to the plant could exceed $15 million. Whitsell owners told local news that they hope to rebuild. At least 150 employees could be affected.
Video by The Register-Guard
Around 50 firefighters from multiple departments engaged in the fire, which drew many spectators. With so much wood in its wake and with winds fanning the flames, firefighters quickly realized fighting the fire was futile. They plan to pour water on the smoldering log stacks for days.
Whitsell Manufacturing purchases raw materials from sawmills and turns them into various dimensional lumber products for resale.
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