Picking up the pieces after sawmill fire

Picking up the pieces after sawmill fire

Dean Munro and his family have owned the sawmill in Matakana Valley Road for 12 years.
The owners of the Matakana Sawmill, Dean and Kim Munro, are picking up the pieces after a large fire destroyed part of the business on March 13.

At least eight fire appliances from five volunteer brigades fought the blaze in the 360sqm finishing shed. It took about three hours to contain the fire and prevent it from spreading to the rest of the sawmill and timber stocks.
Dean was driving towards the mill along Matakana Valley Road when he saw smoke in the distance, but there was no mobile reception and he didn’t realise it was his business that was ablaze.

“As soon as I came over the hill, the phone started ringing,” Dean says.

The fire destroyed the finishing shed, which contained the mill’s premium wood and valuable cutting and planing equipment.

Dean says the fire spread quickly despite staff attempting to put it out and firefighters turning up quickly.
“We really want to thank them once we’ve had a chance to get everything back on track,” he says.

Dean says they have received overwhelming support from local residents and businesses, and work is already busy again. Everything else at the mill is now operating as normal, including rough cuts, custom-milling and firewood sales.

Assistant area fire commander John Booth said it was easy for the fire to spread in the dry timber, and there was not much they could do other than stop it from spreading to the rest of the mill.

“A fire like this is devastating to any business and will be devastating to the owner of this business,” he said.
The fire service was still investigating the cause of the fire, but it was not considered to be suspicious.

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