A fire that broke out shortly after midnight on Sunday morning severely damaged the Southern Forest Products lumber mill near Bon Wier in Newton County.
The volunteers of the Bon Wier and Newton Fire Departments were first to arrive at the scene and they soon called for assistance from the Trout Creek, Burkeville and Jasper Fire Departments and it took the combined efforts of all 5 departments to finally bring the fire under control.
What caused the fire is unknown. However, the manager of the operation, Bruce Gordon said there were indications that the blaze might have begun in the motor control equipment adjacent to the main saw floor, which was completely destroyed.
The mill, which employees 53 people, produces decking and large timbers is located on Farm to Market Road 2626, just east of Highway 190.
Gordon said all hopes were to rebuild the mill and get it back in operation as soon as possible. However, Gordon said that with the extent of damages it might be some time before the mill is back online.
Written by Mike Lout