The rubble of what was Whitsell Manufacturing at 32910 E. Saginaw Road after a vicious fire made its way through the mill on May 26. CHERYL RICHARD/ THE CRESWELL CHRONICLE
This year’s Memorial Day weekend came with some extra sparks in southern Lane County, after fire fully engulfed a mill in Saginaw on Sunday, May 26.
Whitsell Manufacturing at 32910 E. Saginaw Road reportedly caught fire around 7:30 p.m. and within 30 minutes, the entire mill was immersed in fire.
After destroying the 169,000-square-foot mill building, the fire reportedly spread to stacks of other lumber products onsite. The fire reportedly did not spread to homes or other nearby buildings.
Firefighters were expected to be dowsing water on the log stacks for days, said John Wooten, South Lane County Fire & Rescue (SLCF&R) fire chief.
Whitsell Manufacturing was founded in 1986 and manufactures and markets wood and lumber products, tree stakes and pallet materials, according to their website.
It was not clear by press time how many people were employed at the mill, but no one was reportedly injured in the fire, according to officials.
Dozens of firefighters from multiple departments responded to the fire, including SLCF&R, Eugene-Springfield Fire, Pleasant Hill-Goshen Fire and North Douglas Fire.
Soon after the fire started, Highway 99 was closed three miles north of Cottage Grove, requiring drivers to take alternate routes.
By press time, the cause of the fire was still unknown.
More information to come as it is made available.