LIBERTY — Barron’s Pallets in Casey County caught fire Friday morning, a little more than a year after part of the business operated in Eubank suspiciously burned down.
About 4:30 a.m., Casey County dispatch called out firefighters to the pallet mill off U.S. 127. Brush Creek firefighters received mutual aid from Clementsville and Poplar Springs firefighters.
“It wasn’t fully evolved,” Scott said. “It had done progressed past that.”
Scott speculates the fire had been active about 30-45 minutes before crews arrived.
Firefighters worked at the scene until 9 a.m. in difficult weather conditions.
“It was really slick that morning,” Scott said, adding that a few firefighters fell, but none was injured.
Nobody was present at the mill when the fire started from what might have been an electrical cause.
“We can just see where it started in the lower section of the building where a forklift was stored,” Scott said. “But we cannot determine what started the fire.”
T.J. Barron, who manages the mill in Eubank, said workers at the Casey County location are cleaning up the mess. He does not believe the fire is related to the string of arson attacks in Eubank last year that included Barron’s Pallets.
“I think because of where it started in the building, it could have been electrical,” Barron said.
Barron said the equipment in the building is salvageable, but the structure and forklifts were a total loss.
Barron said the location in Casey County is worth 33 percent of the entire mill’s business.
“They do all the precut lumber, deliver it to Eubank, and we assemble it,” he said.
Barron said many areas of the business will be highly affected by the loss, especially since the company could not afford insurance.
Insurance rates on sawmill equipment are so high, it would cost them their profit margin to pay for it, Barron said.
This morning, the company is “crunching numbers” to see if it’s feasible to rebuild, Barron said, adding that 14 jobs were lost and several logging crews depend on the company for sales.
“We’re just trying to take it all in,” Barron said. “It took a whole year to recuperate and then this happens.”