Ohio Firefighter Battle Saw Mill Blaze

Crews from 14 fire departments from three counties helped to extinguish the blaze.


Around 8:30 a.m. on July 31, firefighters from Wayne Township, Ohio were called to a structure fire at the Indian Trail Lumber -- a saw mill in the township.

Firefighters could see the billowing smoke as they responded. Upon arrival, Dundee's Chief Shawn Zurfley noted that 75 percent to 85 percent of the approximately 100,000 square foot light weight wood frame building was involved with heavy fire. Defensive attacks were made to save the machinery that was still unharmed.

Crews from 14 fire departments from three counties helped to extinguish the blaze. 15 tankers were used in a water shuttle pulling over 300,000 gallons of water from three fill sites.

Departments that aided Dundee were Sugarcreek, Strasburg, Baltic, Wilmot, Winesburg, Bolivar, Beach City, Bethlehem Township, Brewster, North Lawrence, Dover, East Holmes and Mount Eaton.

Also, the Salvation Army and many women's auxiliary members assisted with food and refreshments.

There were approximately 9 buildings in all. All were built as additions to the main plant. The owner Willis Yoder believes the fire was started by a spark from a diesel engine near the de-barker machine. To add to firefighting difficulties the buildings housed several fuel and hydraulic fluid tanks.

According to Chief Shawn Zurfley, the fire was extinguished around 2:30 p.m. Several pieces of equipment were saved. However the loss was estimated at 1.5-2 million.

The saw mill was in full operation at the time of the fire and no one was injured.