Little Hocking sawmill a total loss

An early-morning fire Friday destroyed a more-than-50-year-old sawmill in Little Hocking.

No one was injured and no other buildings were damaged, but the sawmill which closed in 2008 was destroyed, fire officials said.

Firefighters were dispatched around 4:55 a.m. to the former Del Mill sawmill, at 1050 Hocking Road, which was already fully involved, said Lt. Josh Chevalier with the Little Hocking Volunteer Fire Department.

“The building was already partially collapsed when they got on scene,” Chevalier said. “It appears to have started in a back shed, on the old production side of the sawmill.”

Chevalier said crews mainly worked to contain the blaze and prevent it from spreading to other nearby buildings.

The mill itself was mostly empty, with its contents having been sold at auction. Chevalier said only part of the building was still used for storage.

Constructed like a pole building, the structure burnt quickly. Though the fire was contained in around 25 minutes, the building was a total loss. The building, which measured 140-feet by 90-feet, had served as the sawmill’s production floor. It had power lines running to it but the electricity to the building had been shut off at a nearby panel. There were no smoke detectors.

“They’d been shut down for several years,” he said.

Early morning temperatures were well-below freezing, but Chevalier said that did little to hinder fire crews.

“There was some ice forming on some of the sheet metal areas of the building toward the end, but other than that there weren’t really any issues,” he said.

Chevalier said crews received aid from the Coolville Volunteer Fire Department and the state fire marshal is investigating the cause of the blaze.