A fire in the compressor room at Sigurdson Forest Products Monday morning has resulted in the loss of a compressor and a small building.
“The compressor overheated and our shift foreman immediately called the fire department. Then we put our own resources on it, but unfortunately we didn’t realize that our water system is on the same system as the compressor room so when that burned it took out our full water supply so we couldn’t apply water ourselves,” says one of the sawmill’s owners Brian Sigurdson, estimating the damage is between $15,000 and $20,000.
Commending the Williams Lake Fire Department for doing an excellent job, Sigurdson says he received a call about the fire around 7:30 a.m. and by the time he arrived on the site, the fire chief was there with fire trucks ready to be escorted in.
“We can get a portable in and be operational tonight (Monday) so we lose one shift, so our guys get to work a regular shift. We’re actually very happy and very grateful it turned out that well. For a while there it looked pretty scary when we saw the flames go up the side of the mill,” Sigurdson says, adding there are 100 local families depending on the mill for a living.
Remedying the water system will be a priority, ensuring it goes on its own independent source of power.
“I can’t believe it. When we bought the mill we just assumed that these things were thought through,” Sigurdson says.
Sigurdson says it’s the second fire they’ve had at the mill since he became an owner, and again he praises the fire department for its response last time and this time around.
“That one was a little bit different, but they do their job, they’re very calm, they know what they’re doing. Without them we wouldn’t have a mill,” he says.