Members of the Williams Lake Fire Department remained on the scene Friday morning of a fire that erupted the following evening before 6:30 at Tolko’s Lakeview sawmill in Williams Lake.
“I know as of today no one is working,” says Paul French, United Steelworkers Local 2017 first vice president.
“On the union membership side there’s roughly 180 and then you have the management on top of that so I think you’re looking a little over 200 people affected directly by the fire. It’s nerve-wracking, to say the least for those members.”
Communications advisor for Tolko, Janice Lockyer said at 11 pm Thursday that the fire remained active and that the extent of the damage is unknown.
“We just have to hope for the best that the damage wasn’t as bad as what we think looking from the outside that hopefully the structure and the equipment didn’t get hit too bad,” says French.
Tolko confirmed that there has been no injuries and all employees are safe and accounted for.
“We can’t speculate on the impact at this time as we won’t be able to access the site until the fire is out and a structural engineer has evaluated it,” Lockyer said later Friday morning.
“We anticipate this assessment will occur over the weekend and into next week.”