Howell County News/Laura Wagner

Sawmill ablaze

A passerby reported flames shooting from the roof of Roberts Wood Products when the building caught fire on Sunday, June 30. Simultaneously, onsite alarms notified the business owner. Initial reports came in at about 8:15 p.m., according to Mountain View Fire Department. Within the minute, MVFD responded and staged a multi-step firefighting operation.
 
The incident report lists a control time of 9:59 p.m. After the blaze was contained, overhaul began. 
 
“The warehouse was full of lumber, and bundles were blackened. Thermal imaging was used to pick up hot spots on lumber. Several bundles were removed outside,” the report said. 
 
The Missouri State Fire Marshal’s office responded to the scene and traced the source of the blaze to a “wood hog,” or industrial-grade grinder, outside the building that caught fire and spread the flames inside via a dust system. 
 
The business was not in operation on the day of the fire, but the MVFD report notes that “many employees showed up to help.” 
 
Fire personnel cleared the scene by 12:14 a.m.
 
Roberts Wood Products has been in operation since 1991, according to the business’s website. They were not available for comment prior to press time. 
 
Three additional fire departments responded and rotated in fire personnel. One department was dedicated to efforts to vent smoke from the structure. Two MVFD firefighters were evaluated by EMS for heat-related injuries. Both recovered, reports the department. 
 
Eleven Point, Summersville, and Willow Springs Fire responded to this call. 
 
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