Blaze levels UP sawmill

TWIN LAKES — The J&A Penegor Sawmill in Houghton County’s Elm River Township was destroyed by fire Thursday night, according to Twin Lakes fire officials.

The fire broke out at about 6:30 p.m. Thursday, said Chief John Reynolds of the Twin Lakes Volunteer Fire Department. While one building and some equipment, including two loaders, were saved, the rest of the lumber mill is a total loss, Reynolds said.

There were no injuries. The sawmill employed approximately 49 people.

Reynolds said firefighting efforts were hampered by low temperatures, which extended the time departments were at the business.

“Our fire department is right across the road from the sawmill,” Reynolds said. “We had all the equipment right there, but we had to keep hauling everything back to thaw it out. Everything kept icing up.”

The Twin Lakes Fire Department was assisted by four others. State police were on site for traffic control.

The cause of fire has not been determined.

Graham Jaehnig can be reached at