MOUNT VERNON (WGME) – Flames broke out at a pallet mill in Mount Vernon Thursday, with firefighters saying all the wood and sawdust made it especially hazardous.
It was business as usual at Clark & Sons Pallet Mill until a fire broke out a little before 10 a.m. The flames were quickly brought under control, however crews say it could take hours to put out all of the hotspots.
Firefighters say they found flames when they arrived at the building on Route 41 in Mount Vernon.
“You got plenty of a fire load, sawdust, I mean there's conditions prime for it,” Readfield Fire Chief Lee Mank said.
Readfield Chief Lee Mank says they were especially worried since it's a business that builds wooden pallets.
Luckily, the fire started in an older part of the facility that's used for storage, and he says employees gave them a head start before they evacuated.
“They initially tried to knock it down with fire extinguishers and had a pretty good, knocked it down really good and they helped a lot,” Mank said.
Without hydrants nearby, crews had to haul in water from elsewhere, but were able to keep the fire from spreading to the rest of the building.
Mount Vernon got help from at least 10 other departments.
It was all-hands-on-deck as they focused on attacking it from above.
“Peeling back the roof, because it's an old structure, and there's probably three to four layers of roofing,” Mank said.
Employees say the damage appears to be extensive, but they all made it out safely.
So did the firefighters, says Mank.
“Fires, unfortunately everybody knows over the past few weeks how dangerous firefighting can be,” Mank said.
Because this is a commercial building, the fire marshal’s office is expected to investigate.