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Lightning Believed to Have Sparked Amish Sawmill Fire

Posted at 8:49 AM, Jun 18, 2014
and last updated 2014-06-18 18:32:43-04

LAKEVIEW, Mich. (June 18, 2014) — The wicked lightning across West Michigan is believed to be the cause behind a fire that destroyed an Amish sawmill, located in the 6000 Block of Kendaville Rd, according to Cato Twp. Assistant Fire Chief Chris Bunker.

Bunker said the call came in around 3:24 a.m. Witnesses say they heard a loud crack, waking a few of them, and then noticed flames. By the time Chief Pat Carr arrived, the entire mill was on fire and the roof had collapsed, Bunker added.

Other departments called to the scene  were Maple Valley Twp., Montcalm Twp. and Stanton, he stated. The flames were under control in about an hour, but crews left around 6:30 a.m.

Nobody was hurt.

Wednesday a lot of people in the community stopped by to see the damage, many who said they would get fire wood from the mill.

The owner of the property says the mill has been around since the 1980’s they had about 7 steady workers there and they cut wood for pallets to made by companies.

Brandon Baird was one of those who stopped by he said he grew up nearby and was close with many in the Amish Community. “It’s a tragedy these guys have worked day and day out ya know supplying everyone with their lumber and their wood and their  bunch of good people its hard to believe this happened to them.”

sawmill2A lose to this community, but with the resilience and hard work of many they’re confident it won’t be out of operation for long.

“Next few day all this rumble will probably be out of here and they’ll start rebuilding Amish communities will come from all over the place and help rebuild.”

The owner of the property says that is exactly what will happen, they’ll just start over.

FOX 17’s Deanna Falzone contributed to this story