Thankfully no injuries were reported after an air compressor exploded and started a fire at East Alabama Lumber’s sawmill at Lafayette, Ala. on April 22, 2021. The fire took out most of the sawmill in the primary breakdown area.
“We’ve got some equipment that it didn’t affect,” says owner Bob Dudley, adding that while the planer mill and kilns weren’t damaged, much of the lumber breakdown green end was a complete loss. “We’re definitely going to rebuild.” He says mill personnel are looking at replacement equipment and developing a plan to get the facility back up and running as soon as possible. Dudley Lumber also operates a pine sawmill at Salem, Ala. and a small hardwood mill at Hatchechubbee, Ala.
Dudley Lumber’s fire woes continued in early May when a line of extreme thunderstorms moved through the state causing extensive damage, and a lightning strike ignited a diesel tank fire at the hardwood mill. No additional equipment or property was damaged.
Dudley Lumber purchased East Alabama Lumber from Byron Welch in 2001. Welch began the operation in 1950.
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