Law-enforcement officials are investigating the cause of a Monday morning Riceboro fire that destroyed a building that stored lumber.
The fire at RB Lumber LLC began shortly before 7 a.m., according to Liberty County fire coordinator James Ashdown. The call came into 911 around 7:30.
“The employees tried to put the fire out themselves but eventually called 911 for assistance by local fire and rescue departments,” Ashdown said.
The blaze destroyed the building, which was used as a drying kiln for lumber, Ashdown said.
A lack of fire hydrants near the structure slowed firefighters’ efforts.
“This hindered our firefighting efforts,” Ashdown said.
Tom Norris, vice president and general manager of R B Lumber, Interstate Paper’s sister company, said operations will be slightly modified until the building is rebuilt.
“We don’t anticipate any major impact on our operations or employees,” he said.
Norris said they normally store up to 22 million feet of lumber at the site. An estimated 100,000 feet burned Monday morning.
The destroyed building had ducts inside that blew hot air — up to 225 degrees — to remove moisture from the lumber stored inside.
Fire units from Midway, Riceboro, Hinesville, Lake George, the Fleming community and the Eastern District were on hand to fight the blaze. They worked until 4 p.m. to extinguish hot spots.