A fire has destroyed a lumber mill in Libby that officials say employed 30 people and was one of the last lumber companies in town. Two structures are a complete loss after a fire broke out Sunday at a Libby lumber mill. Lincoln County Undersheriff Brandon Huff said they got the call just after 2 p.m. for a fire at the SK Fingerjoint, Inc, a mill with 30 employees.
Dee Teske lives nearby. She heard a bang at about 2:15 p.m. then saw sheriff lights and walked across the street to see what was happening. Teske saw a mill building on fire and she watched as the flames spread to the warehouse.
Firefighters from Libby, Fisher River and Troy and crews were using a log picker to move materials and equipment away from the flames. “It was sad to watch. You know, another business losing their business and sad to realize that more folks in the community are going to be out of work,” said Teske.
The business is located at the old Stimson Lumber Company site which closed down in 2008. Their website says SK Fingerjoint opened in 2014 under a former Stimson employee, Dan Kneller. The company cuts the ends of shorter boards like fingers and glues them together to make longer boards.
Huff says there was asbestos at the mill site, which is part of a sprawling federal superfund cleanup project that includes Libby and surrounding areas. County emergency officials responded but Huff says authorities were not overly concerned about exposures to the material.