Lost mill may not be rebuilt
The timber mill of C. and A. Odlin Ltd, at Pohokura, on the Napier-Taupo road, about 60 miles north of Napier, which was destroyed by fire on Thursday night, may not be rebuilt, according to the branch secretary of the company, Mr F. Glover.
“The mill will be out of production for some time, and whether or not we rebuild will depend on the cost in comparison with transporting the logs to another mill,” Mr Glover said today.
“However, the final say will have to come from our head office in Wellington.”
The mill manager, Mr E. L. Batt, left his home at 11.45 p.m. on Thursday to look for the cause of a power failure.
“I saw flames shooting through the roof of the boiler-house, Mr Batt said. “It was obvious that there was nothing I could do to stop the fire, so I called the men out to conﬁne it to the mill itself.
“The mill was like a natural funnel and the flames swept straight through it. Our fire-fighting gear was in good order but there was no water coming from the reservoir, as the pipes had burst near the boiler room.”
Stacked timber was removed from the danger zone and the men concentrated their efforts on keeping the fire away from nearby houses and buildings.
“Fortunately the wind was in the right direction and it carried the flames away from the houses, Mr Batt said.
Odlins have a mill at Reporoa, Waikoau, and one at Hastings which is not operational.
The Napier showrooms of Odlins Ltd, were completely destroyed by fire on December 13 last year. Damage was estimated at £100,000.