Three-alarm fire damages north Medford mill

A three-alarm fire Friday afternoon damaged parts of Sierra Pine in north Medford, but the mill hoped to be back online by this afternoon, according to Medford Fire-Rescue.

Representatives of Sierra Pine, which manufactures medium-density fiberboard at 2685 North Pacific Highway, could not immediately be reached this morning.

Medford Fire-Rescue Battalion Chief Brian Fish said the fire started in the press room and quickly spread to the baghouse, where dust and particulates are filtered to prevent release into the air. About 10 engines and 40 personnel from Medford, Jackson County Fire District Nos. 3 and 5 and other agencies responded to the fire, which started shortly after 3 p.m.

A ladder truck was needed to fight the blaze, which traveled into the wall space and roof of the two-story building. Crews chased flareups and hot spots for several hours, Fish said.

A cost estimate of the damage or cause of the fire was unavailable, as the investigation is continuing, Fish said.

Fish said Sierra Pine representatives told fire personnel they hoped to be back online by this afternoon.

— Cathy Noah

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