BUFFALO TOWNSHIP — The owners of a well-known lumber company in central Pennsylvania are adding up the damage today after a fire at one of its saw mills.
It happened last evening at Kuhns Brothers Lumber Company outside Mifflinburg.
In a matter of minutes Thursday night, flames destroyed the facility and everything inside.
The sawmill at Kuhns Brothers Lumber Company was still smoking one day after a fire. Owner Tim Kuhns surveyed the damage while an insurance inspector focused on the area where the flames got their start.
“There was some sort of explosion, probably a hydraulic tank or something like that. That was pretty much history, everybody got out fortunately,” said Kuhns.
More than 100 firefighters battled the inferno Thursday evening but there was little they could do to save the saw mill that means so much to people including longtime employees.
“We care about it a lot, this is our home, been here for quite a while,” said employee Shawn Rudy.
Even Randall Mowery, who retired from the saw mill after 37 years running the edger, had to see the destruction for himself.
“It looks a mess, only takes one little spark, and that’s it, then you’re done,” said Mowery.
Perhaps the silver lining in all this is that Kuhns Brothers still has a secondary saw mill so the wood’s still being cut, and the employees are still at work.
“We’ll be sawing two shifts on, we’re sawing today on the other mill, full operation by Tuesday,” said Kuhns.
Despite losing a big piece of the operation, employees have faith the place will be back to normal soon enough.
“We’ll get there, we all pull together, we always do,” said Rudy.
The sawmill’s owners said they have insurance and estimate there was more than $1 million in damage and they plan to rebuild.