Friday, 10 August 2007 01:39

Mill Burns Last Night

slide8“It’s the largest structure fire in Amador County history” states Jackson Assistant Fire Chief Dale Fishback. Early this morning, around 12:53 am a fire was reported at a Martell area mill, a fiberform plant, located directly behind Lowe’s. And that’s were the drama began. As the initial fires arrived on scene, the two engines from CalFire’s Sutter Hill station faced 200 foot flames shooting from the metal and wood building.

Once on scene Camino CalFire Dispatch received word from the CHP dispatch center that the CHP had received a 911 call from a person on a cell phone reporting that they were trapped within the burning building. According to CalFire Battalion Chief Dennis Tremelling, fire dispatch notified the two CalFire engines on scene that the individual trapped in the building was a night watchman. He reported his location to be at the northern end of building. Fire crews responded to that area and began knocking on the exterior walls. BC Tremelling reports that there was only one window on the expanse of walls of the building and that window, located in the kitchen of the mill, was barred.

As crews proceeded through their search efforts they began to head down the eastern end of the building and the engineer from Engine 2784 heard someone yell. She redirected her attention and spotted an arm waving out the window of the building. Tremelling reports that there was no way to get the man out through the window so crews acted quickly, taking one of their wild land fire chain saws and cutting through the metal building. Battalion Chief Tremelling reports that they were able to create enough of an opening to get the man out, and within 60 seconds of his rescue, the room from which he was saved was engulfed quickly in flames. “It was a spectacular rescue” says Tremelling. As the drama of the rescue folded out, Jackson City Crews, Ione City Crews, Sutter Creek Crews and Amador Fire Protection District Crews all responded to the inferno. Here’s Jackson City Fire Chief Mark Morton. Fire crews expect to be on the blaze for at least two days. The cause of the fire is under investigation.