Early morning fire destroys Isabella County wood recycling business

 Photo courtesy of Ashley Selley
Photo courtesy of Ashley Selley (WJRT)
Published: Oct. 26, 2018 at 11:25 AM EDT
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(10/26/2018) - A company that recycles wood into pellets and animal bedding was leveled in an early morning fire Friday.

The fire was reported around 4:15 a.m. at Isabella Pellet at 6900 W. Baseline Road in Lake Isabella. Firefighters arrived to find heavy smoke and flames.

The business primarily works with sawdust and wood waste generated by area sawmills, which is highly flammable.

One of the workers inside spotted the fire first in the back of the plant. He told his boss that flames quickly reached from the floor to the ceiling of the plant.

All three workers safely evacuated the building before the Nottawa-Sherman Fire Department arrived on the scene. Six other fire departments were called in for assistance, mostly to truck in water.

Firefighters were still on the scene seven hours after the fire started working on dousing hot spots. An excavator was tearing apart the remnants of the building to help fire crews access hard to reach areas.

Firefighters were not sure what sparked the fire. A Michigan State Police fire investigator may visit the scene to help determine a cause.