Sawmill complains about fire crew responseCHESTER, ME -- Owners of Chester Forest Products sawmill say fire crews were slow in fighting a blaze that ignited at the wood operation on July 15.

They lodged a complaint with the Lincoln Fire Department, which is investigating the matter, according to the Bangor Daily News.

Crews from seven area fire department, many of them volunteer firemen, responded to the fire; no injuries were reported.

Sawmill officials said the crews were slow to respond and to begin attacking the fire inside the building. Damage could have been minimized, they said.

Fire officials said the first of the crews to arrive on the scene lacked sufficient support and training to risk entering the burning building. In addition, the first responders lacked a sufficient supply of water.
 
Though the metal building was heavily damaged, the equipment was mainly spared allowing the company to resume operations the following week.

Fire officials said they would meet with company owners to work out a strategy for combatting any future fire.

According to its listing on Manta.com, Chester Forest Products is a private company categorized under Planing Mill Products and Lumber, employing between 20 and 49 people.

Posted by Rich Christianson

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