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Fire destroys former lumber mill

May 15, 2012
The Daily News

SAGOLA - The former Aspen Lumber Mill was destroyed when it went up in smoke and flames early Monday morning.

Rand Hruska, assistant chief for the Sagola Township Volunteer Fire Department, said firefighters were paged to a fire at the former Aspen Lumber Mill, south of Sagola, at 5:40 a.m. Monday.

"First units were on scene within minutes and reported the structure was fully involved. The vacant mill complex contains about eight buildings, but the fire was contained to one building that we believe once housed the saws," he said. "The building had no equipment inside and the electric power was not connected."

Article Photos

Crews from the Sagola Township Volunteer Fire Department battle a blaze at the Aspen Lumber Mill on Monday. The mill, which was not operational, was destroyed in the blaze.
Theresa Peterson/Daily News Photo

A call for mutual aid was immediately sent to Felch and Breitung Township Fire Departments, and shortly after Alpha-Mastodon Township Fire Department was also summoned.

"The fire was mostly under control within an hour, but crews worked for hours trying to get at hot spots," Hruska said.

Chuck Williams of Williams Contracting in Sagola was called to the scene and brought an excavator to help fire suppression efforts.

Williams was able to dismantle some burning walls and roofs, and isolate smoldering debris from the remaining buildings.

There were 25 firefighters, nine fire trucks, STAR Ambulance, the Dickinson County Sheriff's Office, and Michigan State Police on scene.

Hruska said because there was no obvious ignition source, the state fire marshal's office was contacted and an investigator will be on scene this morning.

No one was injured fighting the fire.

Although the fire was controlled within an hour or two after firefighters arrival, Sagola firefighters cleared the scene at 2:42 p.m.



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