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Crews work into early morning hours to extinguish office fire

CAMAK, Ga. --- Dozens of area firefighters battled a major fire at The Timberman, Inc. plant in Warren County late Monday and into early morning hours Tuesday.

No one reportedly was injured in the blaze, which destroyed an office area and much of the plant's shipping building.

Teddie Love, personnel director at The Timberman, Inc., drove to the scene from her home in nearby Thomson to provide as much information as possible about the plant to fire officials.

Ms. Love told The McDuffie Mirror that she was notified about the fire by a dispatcher with the Warren County Emergency 911 Center shortly before 10:30 p.m.

The shipping plant, which employs 94 people, is located off Georgia Highway 80 near Camak, a historic railroad town just a few miles from Warrenton.

The plant official could not say what the status of the employees at the shipping facility might be.

The shipping office appeared to have been destroyed and considerable damage was done to the remainder of the building.

A section of the building's roof collapsed shortly after 11 p.m. as area firefighters continued to arrive on the scene.

Fire officials' main concern was trying to determine how to attack the massive fire, which quickly spread to other parts of the building and was partly fueled by gusty winds.

Firefighters also were confronted with below-freezing temperatures. Much of the runoff water from fire hoses froze and caused walking in the area to become dangerous for firefighters. Temperatures hovered around the 20-degree mark.

The fire still was raging after midnight in a number of areas of the building. Firefighters worked for several hours before bringing the fire under control.

Warren County Fire Chief Tommy Wolfe was not immediately available to about a possible cause for the blaze.

Officials immediately notified area firefighters that they needed emergency assistance.

Those responding to the call for mutual assistance included firefighters with the Warren County Fire/Rescue Services, Warrenton Volunteer Fire Department, McDuffie County Fire/Rescue Services, Thomson Fire Department and Glascock County Volunteer Fire Department.

A ladder truck, belonging to the City of Thomson, also was called to the scene to allow firefighters to attack the fire from high above.

The Timberman, Inc., which is owned by Thomson resident James R. Hicks, has two other facilities in Warren County, which employ about 50 people.

Web posted on Thursday, January 07, 2010

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