- The Enterprise
- The Recorder
A sawmill at the Goad Lumber Co. in Hughesville was destroyed in a fire last week. As cleanup efforts continue, one owner said he is grateful for the outpouring of support.
Shortly after 1 p.m. Thursday, more than 100 firefighters from volunteer stations in Charles, Prince George’s, Calvert and St. Mary’s counties responded to the sawmill fire, which was controlled in less than two hours.
The Maryland State Fire Marshal’s Office reported that the fire was accidental and originated near a saw’s electric motor.
According to the fire marshal’s report, an employee noticed the fire and “quickly shut off the operation and attempted to extinguish the flames.”
The fire quickly grew out of control, according to the report, and staff evacuated the area.
One of the owners, Tony Goad, said that within 25 minutes, the mill, where the majority of the business’ manufacturing occurs, had burned to the ground. Three trailers behind the mill also burned.
Jeff Duer, spokesman for the Waldorf Volunteer Fire Department, said the buildings were “a complete loss.”
Damage was in excess of $1 million.
Goad said the company would have to go over all the figures before making a decision to rebuild, but he said, “I want to rebuild.”
Goad said the fire departments did a great job containing the fire and keeping it from spreading to residential areas and other buildings on the property, including one that houses tools and one for offices.
“At no time was there a threat to any residential structures,” Duer said.
Goad said he and his brother, Ricky, currently own the mill, a business that their father, William Goad, built at the same location in 1960. Goad said that right now the focus is on cleaning up the area.
He said he was grateful for the outpouring of support from family, neighbors and the Amish community.
The community, especially the Amish, he said, really “stepped up.”
He said residents of neighboring subdivisions also stopped by the mill to offer help.
Goad said the Sutphin Lumber Co. in Charlotte Hall has offered its facilities for the Hughesville company to use temporarily.
While the fire and its destruction were upsetting, Goad said he remains positive and believes “things happen for a reason.”