Lumber company catches fire in Kentucky

Lumber company catches fire in KY

LAGRANGE, Ky. – A fire at an Oldham County lumber company shut down Highway 146 for some time on Friday.

There are about 10 buildings at Northland Lumber. The fire started in a kiln used for drying lumber.

Charred lumber is all that’s left from the burned building.

It took more than 50 firefighters from seven departments to get it under control.

Northland owner Orn Gudmundsson is thankful a wall of steel between the kilns kept the others from catching fire, too.

“Our dry-kilns are sort of the guts of what we do,” Gudmundsson said.

Lumber is shipped to Northland and workers use the kilns to dry sap out of the lumber, then ship it off to other companies.

It’s a business that’s been in Gudmundsson’s family since 1946.

“Well, it is very emotional,” Gudmundsson said.

He’s thankful no one was hurt.

He said an employee spotted the smoke and immediately turned off the gas that powers the kilns.

“When he saw it, he had to take a double-take then realized it was smoke instead of steam,” Gudmundsson said.

Hours later, employees got back to work.

Several buildings were untouched by the fire.

“It will have an impact, but we will be able to get through it,” Gudmundsson said. “We are a resilient, tough group of folks.”

Gudmundsson said it will be at least two months before the business will be fully operational again.

Gudmundsson said he believes an electrical wiring issue caused the fire.

Authorities are still investigating exactly what happened.
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