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By Echo Menges
High winds helped sawdust embers ignite the building, some equipment and huge piles of timber at the old sawmill located about a mile southwest of Brashear.
Adair County firefighters were called to the property of Ervin Miller at 32802 Twin Oaks Lane at approximately 2:00 p.m. Thursday afternoon, April 14, 2022. Multiple nearby agencies were also called for assistance.
According to Adair County Fire Chief Jeremy Davis, roughly 35 to 40 fire personnel helped fight the fires, which put up a five-hour long firefight.
Firefighters from three counties answered the call coming from the Adair County FD, Kirksville FD, LaPlata FPD, Hurdland VFD, and the Baring VFD. The Adair County Ambulance District also responded to the scene and remained in place throughout the firefight.
Fortunately, no one was injured in the fire.
Firefighters, sawmill personnel and local loggers worked in punishing heat being pushed by remarkably strong winds to deliver water to all of the burning areas at the site. They also worked to quickly move massive logs away from the burning piles of timber.
“They had a belt issue and the sawdust had some embers in it, and the embers blew into the building and into the logs,” Adair County Fire Chief Jeremy Davis told The Edina Sentinel. “It caught three stacks of logs (on fire), and we also had problems with embers going into the timbers to the east. It was creating spot fires that we had to put out also.”
The sawmill building sustained moderate damage. It is unknown if the business was covered by insurance, according to Chief Davis.
Fire personnel cleared the scene at approximately 7:00 p.m.
“The fire and the high winds were not good for them,” said Chief Davis.
Davis said this fire is an example of how fast fire can spread in high winds and took time to remind citizens to refrain from burning when it’s windy.
“We usually post on our Facebook page, if there is a burn advisory. Try not to burn on windy days. If you are doing a controlled burn, call in to central dispatch and let them know you are burning,” said Davis.