Sullivan County Democrat
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Democrat Photo by Ted Waddell

PILES OF BOTH fresh and burned lumber surrounded firefighters at Semenetz Lumber during the fire Sunday morning.

Blaze Under

By Ted Waddell
JEFFERSONVILLE — March 9, 2004 – An early morning blaze destroyed the mill building at Semenetz Lumber Company along North Branch Road in the Town of Callicoon on Sunday.
According to Ed Puerschner, chief of Protection Hose Company #1 of Jeffersonville, the fire was called into the Sullivan County 911 Center by a passerby using a cell phone at 3:11 a.m.
The lumber company was recently sold by Gregg Semenetz to Steve Schmidt, president of ASA Precision Co., Inc., a high-tech machining and fabrication shop located across the road from the lumberyard.
“The mill building was fully involved when we got there, but we managed to contain the fire inside the building and save the shop and the other building,” said Puerschner.
According to volunteer firefighter John Crotty, a strong wind blowing away from the other structures helped keep the blaze from spreading to the neighboring buildings.
Volunteer fire departments responding to the scene included Jeffersonville, Youngsville, Kenoza Lake, Hortonville, North Branch and Callicoon Center.
On stand-by were Livingston Manor and White Sulphur Springs.
“It was a ‘plain Jane’ fire – everything worked like it was supposed to,” said Puerschner of the efforts involving scores of local volunteer firefighters. The departments were back in service by 8:17 a.m.
The cause of the fire is undetermined. It is under investigation.

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