NEW INFO: March 15th, 2014 3:00pm
An overnight fire that destroyed the Greenwood Sawmill is being ruled accidental.
Sawmill owner, Dan Wolf, tells NewsChannel 7 he was doing some welding Thursday night inside the mill. There may have been a hot ember that stayed in the building causing the fire. Wolf says he came into the building Friday night to wait for a client when he noticed smoke and called 911.
The Greenwood Fire Chief, Tom Abel, says crews were on scene for more than eight hours fighting the blaze. Crews were called to 105 West Cannery Street around 7:45pm Friday night. When they arrived the sawmill was already engulfed in heavy, black smoke.
"We got our truck out as quick as we could and got set up, trying to cut it off before it got into the older part of the building," Chief Abel explains. "With the little bit of wind that we did have and with the saw dust and dust in the building, it ran the top of the building and in the attics and we just couldn't keep up to it."
Chief Abel says they also had trouble getting the water they needed to fight the fire because Cannery Street is a dead end and the hydrant could not support more than one pumper at a time. Crews had to shuttle water in from other hydrants using tankers, but even that turned problematic.
"Three quarters of the way through, we were notified by the city that our water supply was getting down to the point where we had to come up with another source," Chief Abel said.
Loyal crews were the first to assist who said they would be able to supply them with tankers and water only until 1:00am before they too ran out of water. On Black River the ice was so thick there wasn't enough water under the ice for them to take. Finally, a city pond provided the needed water, but by that time the building was destroyed.
The fire was officially out by 3:30am Saturday morning, but crews did return around 9:30am to clean up and spray a few hot spots.
When factoring in equipment losses, Wolf estimates the damage to be near $1.5 to $2 million. The welding building, which is about 20 to 30 feet away from the sawmill, was not harmed in the fire. The family plans to rebuild and continue operating the welding business during cleanup. They say they would be grateful for any help cleaning up the site. You can contact Dan Wolf at (715)429-0355.
NEW INFO: 11:40pm
Greenwood Mayor Jim Schecklman tells NewsChannel 7 the fire at Wolf's Sawmill is now under control.
He says one person was in the mill building when the fire broke out, but was able to get out and no injuries are reported.
Schecklman says the welding portion of the business in a building next door appears to be undamaged.
Crews from Greenwood, Spencer, Thorp, Neillsville, Granton and Loyal helped fight the fire.
Schecklman says Greenwood, like many other municipalities in the area has been dealing with water pipe issues after the long, cold winter.
He says much of the water needed to fight the fire had to be shipped in by tanker truck because the city's water level got low.
NEW INFO: 11:05pm
Greenwood Mayor Jim Schecklman confirms crews are on the scene of a fire at a sawmill.
He says the name of the mill is Wolf's Saw Mill.
Schecklman says he believes the fire was reported at about 7:45pm Friday night (3/14/14) and multiple crews from surrounding departments have been called in to help fight the fire.
He's unsure how many people are employed by the mill.
Witnesses tell NewsChannel 7 a major fire is burning at the Greenwood Saw Mill in the Clark County community of Greenwood.
Clark County sheriff's deputies refuse to confirm or deny a fire.
Google maps say the business is located at 105 Cannery St. in Greenwood in Clark County.
A viewer has posted video of flames reported to be from the fire.
To see the video shot by a witness, click on the link below.
Stay tuned to NewsChannel 7 and www.wsaw.com for more details.
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