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Fire Engulfs Springfield, N.H., Lumber Mill (Video)

  • A firefighter with the New London Fire Department monitors flowing water on Wednesday, Jan. 3, 2018, during a lumberyard fire at Durgin and Crowell Lumber Co. in Springfield, N.H. (Valley News - Charles Hatcher) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

  • Two members of the Sunapee Fire Department watch as a fully-involved lumberyard fire burns on Wednesday, Jan. 3, 2018, at Durgin and Crowell Lumber Co. in Springfield, N.H. (Valley News - Charles Hatcher) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

  • A captain with the Newport Fire Department climbs a New London Fire Department ladder truck to get a view of a lumberyard fire on Wednesday, Jan. 3, 2018, at Durgin and Crowell Lumber Co. in Springfield, N.H. (Valley News - Charles Hatcher) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

  • A member of the Hanover Fire Department uses a hose atop a ladder truck on Wednesday, Jan. 3, 2018, during a lumberyard fire at Durgin and Crowell Lumber Co. in Springfield, N.H. (Valley News - Charles Hatcher) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.



Wednesday, January 03, 2018

Springfield, n.h. — Firefighters from more than a dozen fire departments along the Interstate 89 corridor helped battle a four-alarm fire at a lumber mill on Wednesday night.

Springfield Fire Chief Peter Lacaillade said the fire in a 210,000-square-foot planer mill at Durgin and Crowell Lumber Co. had been contained to the building, as of 11:15 p.m. Firefighters continued efforts to extinguish the fire, which was expected to burn well into this morning.

Lacaillade said firefighters were only able to attack the flames from the outside of the building because there was an active fuel source inside.

The fully involved fire broke out shortly before 6 p.m., according to the Hanover Regional Communications Center’s Facebook page.

Along with the Springfield fire department, mutual aid was provided by Grantham; New London; Sunapee; Newport; Hanover; Lebanon; Andover; Bradford, N.H.; Warner; Enfield; Canaan; Sutton; Newbury, N.H.; Wilmot and Croydon. Around 10:20 p.m., tankers were en route from Henniker, Grafton, Lebanon and Danbury, the Hanover Facebook page said. Meriden and Plainfield firefighters were covering both Lebanon stations. Nearby, Interstate 89’s Exit 12A was closed to travelers as crews worked the scene.

Lacaillade said the frigid temperatures were beginning to impede firefighters’ efforts.

The chief said crews were having issues with equipment freezing as temperatures dropped to around 6 degrees, and were actively rotating out tankers and other apparatus in an attempt to avoid such problems. Streams of water trained on the building were freezing and turning into snow before they reached the flames.

Springfield Deputy Fire Chief Kevin Roberts said mid-evening there were no reported injuries. The fire was upgraded to a fourth alarm around 10 p.m.

Durgin and Crowell is a sawmill that manufactures kiln-dried eastern white pine lumber, according to its website. It produces up to 30 million board feet annually.

The company, located at 231 Fisher Corner Road in Springfield, employs about 100 people and is owned by brothers Peter and Ben Crowell. It was founded in 1976, according to the company’s website.

Crews previously worked to extinguish a fire at the mill in February 2016, when a conveyor motor caught fire and spread to a belt line and a silo. That one-alarm fire was quickly extinguished, in large part thanks to an off-duty fire chief who was working at the lumber company when the fire broke out.

In April, firefighters from at least eight departments helped contain a fire in a wood chip silo at nearby Springfield Power, a separate company.