Lumber yard owner plans to move forward after fire

Local News

The owner of Walker Lumber Company plans to reopen as soon as possible after a fire destroyed part of the lumber yard Wednesday night.

Fire crews were called to walker lumber company in woodland around 9:30 p.m. Wednesday and working into the early morning hours Thursday.

Owner Nick Ince said the flames completely destroyed their office, including all of their computer systems and documents.

The state fire marshal said the fire originated in one of the boiler rooms, which severely damaged one of the boilers and spread to a small lumber store.

Ince said they’re working to get back to business as soon as possible.

“Hopefully we get the power back on, we may be able to turn the sawmill over tomorrow, and I’m hoping we’ll have everybody back at work running the mill Monday morning.”

He said those who worked in the area that was destroyed will help with the cleanup just so they can keep working.

The fire marshal estimates the damage at $1 million. Ince said with the boiler costing $500,000 itself, he expects it to cost more than that.

“If we could rescue it, that would be great, it’ll take some time to get this done,” he said. “It’s going to be an expensive fix.”

With a company history dating back to the late 1890s, Ince said a fire won’t stop them from serving their customers.

“We’ll be able to keep supplying all of our customers, we’ll find a way, some of the drying we may have to get done by other firms, I’ve had umpteen people call me this morning with offers to help out.”

Around a dozen fire companies responded to the fire.

Two firefighters were injured while trying to control the blaze.

19-year-old Tyler Thomas with the Philipsburg Fire Department was taken to the hospital for lower body injuries after a roof collapsed.

A firefighter with the Clearfield Fire Department was transported to the hospital for minor injuries.

Both were released early Thursday morning and are recovering.

Crews were able to contain the fire to minimize the amount of damage to the lumber yard.

“It was amazing support from emergency services,” Ince said. “I can’t believe how many people showed up and they worked tirelessly to help us through this difficult situation.”

A cause of the fire has not yet been determined.

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