Bedford Co. Sawmill Fire Still Burning

Bedford Co., VA - A fire that broke out Wednesday evening at a Bedford County sawmill was still burning Thursday.

After containing the fire at Central Virginia Pallet and Stake on Centerville Road, the fire department decided to let it burn out on its own.

"When I first got in the truck to go over there I didn't hear any radio traffic, which was kind of odd I thought," said Richard Miles, battalion chief for the county's wild land division.

Miles, who could see the fire from his nearby home, got to the scene before the fire department was even toned out. He said the fire moved very quickly.

"We were under a red flag warning. We had extreme winds and very low humidity," said Miles. "That combination, you get rapid growth of fire."

"It was sort of like a wind tunnel," said John Jennings, the county's fire marshal.

Jennings walked around the property Thursday, but couldn't get close enough to finish his investigation.

"It may be for several more days," said Jennings. "It's just too hot to get into the debris and start digging through and looking for whatever the potential cause might be."

Jennings interviewed workers. They had all gone home for the day before the fire was noticed.

There was another fire at the sawmill in March 2013. Jennings said that fire was suspicious.

Damage is estimated at $75,000. The sawmill is not insured. The owner said after the 2013 fire he could not afford the insurance premiums companies want to insure sawmills.