Fast thinking workers contain mill fire

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EUSTIS – Quick-thinking workers shut down blowers to contain a fire in a steel pipe between two buildings Monday at Stratton Lumber Inc.

Twenty-eight firefighters from Eustis, Carrabassett Valley, Kingfield and Rangeley responded to the fire that started in the planing mill, Eustis fire Chief Rusty Fearon said Monday.

It appears a little piece wood got jammed and caused a spark that blew through the 36-inch round steel pipe duct that runs between buildings, he said.

“It was real quick thinking and smart thinking of the workers that were there to shut the blower down so it was contained between the two buildings,” Fearon said. “I couldn’t commend them enough.”

Firefighters had one of the big cranes on the property take down the pipe to extinguish the fire, he said. Firefighters then searched each of the buildings to see if the fire had reached into the structures.

Fearon gave a rough estimate of damage at $2,000 to $3,000.

It probably was a good thing that part of the main mill was shutdown for repairs or it could have been worse, he said.

“Mutual aid works,” he added. “It’s kind of everybody’s life’s blood up here and it works.”

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