North Okanagan sawmill workshop gutted by fire - InfoNews

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North Okanagan sawmill workshop gutted by fire

A fire destroyed the workshop at South Enderby Boards, Monday, Feb. 4, 2019.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/Enderby Fire Department
February 05, 2019 - 11:31 AM

ENDERBY - Fire completely gutted the workshop of an Enderby sawmill yesterday evening.

The fire took place at South Enderby Boards, located about three kilometres south of Enderby on Highway 97A.

South Enderby Boards owner Craig McIntyre told iNFOnews.ca the fire started shortly after 5 p.m. yesterday, Feb. 4, after all members of staff had left. McIntyre said the fire completely gutted the roughly 3,000 square feet workshop, destroying tools and machinery, but luckily the fire didn't spread and destroy the firm's log inventory and heavy equipment.

"It's a pretty hard kick in the pants," said McIntyre adding "It was a heavy, heavy blow but we'll find a way to get back to business."

Enderby Fire Chief Cliff Vetter said about 16 firefighters battled the blaze which took roughly 3.5 hours to extinguish and then several hours after that to "mop-up" the site.

"There's lots of fuel in the building so lots of hidden hot spots, it made it difficult with all that fuel in there," said Vetter.

With temperatures hovering at around -15 Celsius, putting the fire out had its own unique challenges.

"Our regulators were freezing... you have to worry about your pump freezing," said Vetter. "There's no good time for a fire but when you're battling -15 temperatures it doesn't help," he said.

McIntyre said the business lost a lot of tools and equipment in the blaze. He said due to strict criteria, and the expense that goes with it, he doesn't have insurance.

McIntyre is optimistic he can get back on his feet in a week or two, and said he's just grateful the fire wasn't far worse.

The cause of the fire was not yet known.

Image Credit: SUBMITTED/Enderby Fire Department

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