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Firefighters control sawmill fire in Choctaw County

(Tyler Hill)
(Tyler Hill)
Reported by: Tyler Hill
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Updated: 9/08/2013 11:16 pm
EUPORA, Miss. (WTVA) - Firefighters from Webster and Choctaw Counties battled a sawmill fire over the weekend.

Officials said the fire was reported by Webster County 911 shortly after 9:45 Saturday night at Smith's Sawmill on LaGrange Road and Hwy 9.

For six hours, eight fire departments battled the fire that rose nearly 80 feet in the air across seven acres of lumber scraps and saw dust.

"It's been long," said Eupora volunteer firefighter Jason Love. "It's been hard. It's been hot."

Around four o'clock Sunday morning, crews were released from the scene as it seemed the fire was under control.

"At that time, there were no immediate dangers," said Eupora Fire Department Assistant Chief Mitch Jackson.

But just a few hours later, the circumstances changed.

"During the night, the wind had picked up and had pushed the fire across the fire lane," Jackson said.

Crews were once again dispatched to the scene around 11 o'clock Sunday morning to control the flames.

Officials said along the way, they had shortages of water, delaying the process.

Eupora Fire Department truck engineer Shedryk Shaw said water tanks were required to fill every 15 minutes to control the flames.

He said at least 150,000 gallons of water were used during the operation.

"Our trucks, they were moving as fast as they could," Shaw said. "We were doing the best we could to keep up."

Love said running out of water during crucial moments, while understandable, is a little frustrating.

"We understand you only have a limited water supply," Love said. "When we need water, we need water, and these guys have been great getting it back to us and getting us back to work quick."

Not only did they battle the heat from the flames, but they also faced the heat from the sun.

"We're just made to take it," Love explained. "We're born this way, we love it. The hotter it is, the better it is."

No injuries were reported, and crews were able. to prevent damage to the sawmill equipment and building structures.

Fire officials said the fire was officially controlled and crews were released from the scene around five o'clock Sunday afternoon.

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