Nobody was injured in the blaze.
The fire started in the mid-afternoon at the sawmill at 13 mile Zimovia Highway. The mill is owned and operated by Mike Allen of Mike Allen Enterprizes.
Unreliable cell phone service and distance made responding to the blaze a challenge.
That portion of Zimovia Highway was under heavy construction and closed down to a single lane with pilot vehicles.
SECON was the first to respond, sending up one of its tankers.
SECON workers jumped into action, helping emergency responders get to the fire by directing traffic and getting other vehicles off the road.
The fire department sent its tankers, trucks, and volunteer crew out. It took a long time and a lot of work to put it out.
Wrangell was once a power in the timber industry. But, as economic tides changed, the larger mills closed.
Mike Allen’s sawmill was one of the last two substantial local milling operations in town.
Allen and his wife, Angela, were both there to watch the firefighters fight the blaze. The Allen family did not wish to comment yesterday.
But, in a Facebook post on a Wrangell page, Angela wrote:
“Thank you to ALL the firefighters for being out there doing everything you could to get the fire out.
Also thank you to all the support from our community.
Life is life and things happen for a reason.
We shall see what the future holds for us.”
Reporting in Wrangell, I’m Shady Grove Oliver.