Milton sawmill destroyed in blaze

Published: Nov. 23, 2020 at 6:52 PM EST|Updated: Nov. 24, 2020 at 6:19 AM EST
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MILTON, Vt. (WCAX) - A Milton sawmill was destroyed by fire Monday and now investigators are trying to figure out what sparked the flames.

It happened at Cyr Lumber on Poor Farm Road. Milton Fire Chief Chris Poirier says the fire ignited just after 4 p.m. Monday. Sixty firefighters from seven different departments arrived on the scene about 20 minutes later and found the structure fully engulfed in flames.

Poirier says the family-owned business that opened in the 1970s is a total loss.

“It was a loss from the time we got here. Like I said, we had heavy, heavy fire involvement,” he said. “We weren’t going to stop it. We just wanted to contain it to that building and none of the other buildings back here.”

Poirier says there were about 10 employees inside the building at the time. He says they all got out safely and no one was hurt. He says they reported to fire crews what they saw.

“They were cutting logs probably 45 minutes earlier. The sawyer that was on scene that was running equipment heard a pop to his left, looked down, the fire erupted. They hit it with fire extinguishers but they weren’t able to put the fire out,” Poirier said.

Poirier adds that a combination of hydraulic fluid and diesel fuel inside the building, combined with the steel exterior and high winds, made battling the fire difficult. By 6 p.m., firefighters extinguished most of the blaze.

Poirier says based on witness accounts, crews have ruled out foul play and they believe the fire was an accident.

“There’s nothing to say that this was suspicious at all. It looks like completely accidental. Some type of mechanical failure,” Poirier said.

Our crew on scene counted about 50 firetrucks and fire tankers fighting the fire Monday evening. Crews stayed there until about 10:30 p.m. They spent the night examining the building trying to narrow down exactly where and how the fire started. Poirier says the Vermont State Police will arrive at the scene in the morning to investigate the cause of the fire.

WCAX News also spoke to the Cyr family. They said they don’t want to speak publicly until the investigation is complete. They say they are thankful no one was injured in the fire.

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