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Fire damages Oroville sawmill

Air compressor blamed for blaze that began Thursday morning

— A Thursday morning fire did extensive damage to the small log portion of the chip and sawmill operation at Zosel Lumber Co.

Firefighters were called at 6:34 a.m. to the mill at 1 14th Ave. and found the sawmill building fully engulfed in flames.

The adjacent chipper facility was saved.

Owner John Zosel said the company is evaluating whether to rebuild the 50- by 100-foot wood frame building that housed the chip and saw edger and trimmer equipment. The building was not insured, but its contents were.

No damage estimate is available, he said.

The facility’s four employees remain on the job since the chipper facility was not affected.

Fire Chief Rod Noel said the fire began in an air compressor at the sawmill at the south end of the facility.

“It went quickly,” Noel said.

Zosel said the fire department did “a great job” battling the flames.

Firefighters were at the fire four hours. The department’s snorkel truck, purchased last year from Omak, was used, Noel said.

The facility is served by hydrants, which greatly aided in dousing the flames, he said.

The mill has been in the Zosel family since 1926, John Zosel said.

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