A fire at Pollard Lumber Co. this morning caused “considerable damage” to the kiln where the blaze originated.
About 16 Martinez-Columbia Fire Rescue firefighters battled flames pouring from the dry kiln of the sawmill, located on Washington Road near Pollard’s Corner in Appling.
Employees at the lumber yard had almost fully extinguished the structure fire, which was reported at about 10:15 a.m., when firefighters arrived, fire department Battalion Chief Dino Cesarini said.
During that time, workers moved at least six flat-bed rail cars, each stacked with four bundles of burning lumber, outside for firefighters to put out, Cesarini said.
Heat from the fire ignited a sawdust pile and some surrounding bundles of lumber as far away as 200 feet, he said.
“It was a pretty intense fire when we first arrived on scene,” Cesarini said.
About 80 feet of wood, or a day’s worth of production, was ruined in the fire, said lumberyard owner Andy Pollard.
No one was injured in the blaze.
“That’s always the main thing,” Pollard said.
Kiln fires only happen about once every 10 to 20 years and are almost always caught before causing any damage, he said.
The cause of the fire is under investigation and could take some time before it’s determined, Cesarini said.
Smoke from burning wood piles could be seen by passersby.
Many working on the property stopped to watch crews fighting to extinguish the blaze.
One employee, who refused to give his name, said this is the third fire he’s seen in more than 20 years at the lumberyard.
“Anytime we have a fire we hate it,” he said. “It’s just devastating to all of us.”