Bedford Co., VA - A sawmill provided plenty of fuel for an early morning fire Wednesday. Now ten people are out of work, at least for now.
Centerville Road in Bedford County was shut down for much of the morning, as firefighters battled the flames at Central Virginia Pallet and Stake Corporation. They brought in a bulldozer to create a fireline around a couple of wooded acres where the fire spread.
Firefighters had things under control pretty quickly, but between breezy conditions, stacks of wood, and a downed power line there were certainly obstacles.
A camera mounted on the first Bedford Fire Department truck to arrive at Central Virginia Pallet and Stake on Centerville Road captured the scene. A blast of light was even more visible against a backdrop of darkness. Five different fire companies were out here before the sun, to keep the sparks you just saw from spreading.
"It was just burning and all the fire trucks and all was here," said Roger Martin.
Martin, the company's truck driver, got a call about the fire not long after the firefighters, who kept the flames away from the pallets Martin needed.
"To get the three loads that's got to go out today," said Martin.
Lumber piled up all over the property could have easily turned to stacks of firewood. Everything inside the main assembly building is gone.
The owner, Gerald Ayers, tells us he will literally have to rebuild from the ground up. This building, unfortunately, was not insured. He says a small business owner like him can't afford the premiums insurance companies are charging to insure a sawmill these days.
A power line that came down during the fire now represents the fine line between out of a job or back to work for 10 employees.
"We should be able to Friday if he can get the electricity here. Should be able to," said Martin.
Martin's co-workers could get back to making pallets in another building. And he could keep making those deliveries.
Bedford County Fire Marshal John Jennings was on the scene Wednesday morning. He says they are still looking for the cause.