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Officials: Whitsell mill fire accidental

Fire investigators believe the blaze to have started at the center of the mill.

Posted: Jun 4, 2018 5:33 PM
Updated: Jun 4, 2018 6:10 PM

SAGINAW, Ore. -- The fire that destroyed the Whitsell mill in Saginaw on May 27 was accidental, said Fire Chief John Wooten, and the mill’s sprinkler system was inadequate.

Chief Wooten told KEZI 9 News that the official insurance report will be released at a later date, but from what fire investigators have found so far, they believe the blaze to have started at the center of the mill.

Investigators also think the fire started small and grew fast and when it reached the sawdust in the rafters it caused a flash over -- similar to an explosion -- which caused the building to collapse.

No physical evidence is left to determine the actual cause, Chief Wooten added.

The fire did millions of dollars in damage. No one was in the building at the time.

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