DIXFIELD — Crews from multiple agencies battled a four-alarm fire at Irving Forest Products mill Friday evening.

Dixfield Fire Chief Scott Dennett said at the scene that the fire was in the rear of a production building and was contained shortly after 6 p.m., about two hours after it was reported.

“The fire is contained at this point,” he said. “We are currently doing an overhaul in the building, looking for hot spots.”

About 45 firefighters from departments in Dixfield, East Dixfield, Mexico, Rumford, Peru, Andover, Wilton and Jay responded to the scene.

“All Irving employees were evacuated,” Dennett said.

The first calls came in about 4 p.m. with flames reported at the sawmill at 24 Hall Hill Road. Less than an hour later, a fourth alarm was sounded and more crews were requested at the scene.

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Central Maine Power was called to cut electricity to the area, although it was not immediately clear if that had been done by 5 p.m.

“They have personnel on site working to get the mill back online,” Dennett said. “I can’t say what they need to do or when they will be back in operation, you would have to call New Brunswick about that.”

JD Irving is based in Canada.

Its Dixfield mill produces 75 million board feet of pine lumber each year.

Acquired in 1998, the sawmill is North America’s largest producer of Eastern White Pine boards for interior and exterior finish applications. The sawmill serves as a market for loggers throughout the area.

 


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