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Sat, Nov 18, 2017 01:34
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Crews continue to fight a fire at Tolko's Lakeview facility

WILLIAMS LAKE, B.C. (From news reports) -- Emergency crews continued to battle a fire at Tolko's Lakeview facility in Williams Lake Friday morning that erupted Thursday evening around 6:30 p.m.

The 150 Mile House Volunteer Fire Department arrived Thursday evening to assist the Williams Lake Fire Department, already on scene.

At around 10:30 p.m. Thursday the company's communications advisor Janice Lockyer confirmed in a written statement that there was an active fire, but that no one was injured and the safety of the employees was the top priority.

"At this time, the situation remains active and the extent of the damage is unknown," Lockyer said.

United Steelworkers Union Local 2017 first vice president Paul French said workers at the mill were all sent home at about 8 p.m. Thursday and the power was cut off.

"I don't want to speculate, but I know the sawmill got scorched pretty good," French said Friday morning. "I haven't heard anything from the company yet, but I think they are trying to assess what the heck is going on and how badly the equipment got burnt."

Logging trucks are going in there Friday morning, and there are people on site, he added.

The fire comes after a summer that saw the company's operations curtailed for several weeks and timber stands impacted because of the wildfires.

"It's not good," French said of the mill fire. "A lot of people's lives depend on the mill."

As of Friday morning there had not received an update from Tolko.

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