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Fire Destroys Sawmill In Fairlee

Charlotte Albright
Robert Moses, owner, Britton Lumber in Fairlee, surveys wreckage of sawmill left by fire.

A four-alarm fire in Fairlee has totally destroyed a  sawmill for a company that employs 50 people. At least 20 of those workers face an uncertain future.

The fire swept through Britton Lumber in Fairlee on Saturday night. Investigators are trying to determine the cause as owner Bob Moses surveys the rubble. He says the sawmill workers will be paid through this week.

“Yeah, they’re going to help if they can and if we don’t have work they can go home, because it’s very emotional for the sawmill employees, too,” Moses said.

Moses is an accountant who bought the business from the founders only a year ago. He says he’s receiving an outpouring of support from neighbors and from competitors. The mill fire did not spread to sheds containing inventory, but it’s unclear how or if Britton Lumber will re-stock those shelves.

Moses says when the sawmill closed on Friday evening nothing seemed amiss. He raced back from a family visit in Rhode Island when notified about the blaze.

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