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Community reacts to Whitsell Mill Fire

Many residents said they are concerned about what this means for the mill’s employees and their families.

Posted: May. 28, 2018 3:46 PM
Updated: May. 28, 2018 7:48 PM

SAGINAW, Ore. – Many community members who live in the Saginaw area said they are struggling with the loss of the Whitsell Mill because they said it played a big role in the community.


The mill has been there for decades and for some it was a place of employment. Some had family connections. Others interacted with it in their daily lives and in the course of business.

READ MORE: Fire destroys Whitsell mill in Saginaw

Noreen High, a resident, said she went to the mill about two or three times a week to get wood for the past few years.

"It's terrible, I have nowhere else to go to get any wood. Now I'll have to buy it and that's tough," High said. "I worry more about the people that worked here and their jobs."

Many residents said they are also concerned about what this means for the mill’s employees and their families.

Michelle Lockard said the loss of the mill is personal to her. Her grandfather used to work there and she knows people who recently did. She said this is the time for community members to step up and lend a helping hand.

"You know this community needs to come together and help all these families who have lost all their jobs until we can get something going again for all those families out here," Lockard said.

She said some of the impacted families will likely need help with things like food, gas and rent. She said right now, everyone should do what they can to help.

Lockard said she is hoping officials can figure out the cause of the fire quickly so the mill can rebuild.

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