Fire doesn't slow lumber business down

By Kathy Jefcoats

It was business as usual at Williams Brothers Lumber Co. despite a midday fire Friday.

"This hasn't slowed us in the least," said company vice president Paul Beattie Friday afternoon. "Our trucks are driving right by the fire trucks parked in the streets."

Beattie said deliveries continued to be made Friday, with stock coming from some of the company's other 15 locations when necessary.

"Customers aren't affected at all and wouldn't know we had a fire unless they see it on the news," he said.

A yard foreman spotted smoke coming from a storage warehouse on the company's Locust Grove location at 270 Pine Grove Road, said Henry County fire Capt. Sabrina Puckett. Firefighters responded to the fire at 10:34 a.m. and had it under control by 10:59 a.m., she said.

A preliminary investigation shows the cause to be electrical, said Beattie, who estimated the building to be 8,000 to 10,000 square feet.

"We didn't have any workers in that building so electrical is just about the only thing it could be," he said. "We had siding, dense glass and trim in that building"

Puckett described the fire as "deep-seated."

"We've got a firefighter who is trained to work a forklift taking the materials out piecemeal to get to the bottom of the wood," she said. "We also used foam on tar paper used on roofs."

No one was reported injured and no evacuations were made.

"We're thankful that no one was hurt," said Beattie. "We didn't lose any equipment either."

Beattie said the company is getting estimates on replacing the building, which he expects to be done as soon as possible.

The fire did not disrupt business or send any of the location's 32 employees home for the day, he said.