MILTON, Vt. – A Milton sawmill was destroyed in a fire Monday afternoon as seven fire departments sought to get the blaze under control.
The sawmill, owned by Cyr Lumber, is located on Poor Farm Road. The fire is still under investigation, but Milton Fire Chief Chris Poirier said an employee noticed it after hearing a loud pop nearby.
Everyone was able to evacuate the mill safely.
“They were cutting logs,” Poirier said. “They had just started cutting about 45 minutes earlier, and the sawyer that was on scene and running the equipment heard a pop to his left, looked down, the fire was erupting. They hit it with fire extinguishers, but weren’t able to put the fire out.”
The Milton Fire Department arrived on scene around 4:30 pm. They were soon assisted by six nearby fire departments including Colchester, Georgia and Westford.
Poirier said materials inside the building were a cause for concern and made fighting the fire an unpredictable battle.
“There’s a lot of fuels, hydraulic fluid, diesel fuel that are in there,” Poirier said. “There’s a lot of hazards, there’s actually a basement underneath that saw deck area that’s covered with wood, there’s a ten foot drop into it. We’ve kept all our personnel outside, we’ve been fighting it from the exterior.”
Cyr Lumber is a family-run business that’s been in operation for 50 years. There was a fire in this same building 41 years ago.
Firefighters say the mill was destroyed when they arrived, and although they believe the fire originated in a piece of cutting equipment, a formal investigation is ongoing.
“The fire marshals office will be here with the state police for cause and origin, just for the insurance company,” Poirier said. “There’s nothing to say this was suspicious at all, it was completely accidental. Some type of mechanical failure.”