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Deanmill fire causes extensive damage
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A blaze that broke out at the Deanmill timber mill in Manjimup, Western Australia and has caused an estimated $2 million damage. Authorities are still assessing the damage but the Fire and Emergency Services Authority said the cause of the fire was accidental. Source: ABC Rural Broadcasting, ABC News, The West Australian
Other than farming, timber is the main industry for the region and 42 employees rely on Deanmill for work. The mill had been back in operation for just a few months after being shut down by Gunns early last year.
Auswest Timbers bought and reopened the Jarrah mill earlier this year. Gunns shut the near 100-year-old operation in February 2011.
Managing Director Gary Addison said that it would take a lot to get the mill back up and running.
"The back section of the mill.... we have a waste system and a conveying system that has been destroyed and the building around that particular section has been destroyed as well,” Addison said.
“The extensive damage means the mill will have to temporarily shut down. We need to rebuild that before we can even contemplate starting the saws up again.”
The exact cause is yet to be identified.
Addison expects it will take four to five months until full production is restored and the 42 employees have agreed to take one week’s annual leave.
"We need to talk to all of our people about transferring to our other sawmill which is at Pemberton so we can continue production in a fashion .... to ensure our third operation in Manjimup continues to operate."