Fire raged through the plywood factory of Rutland Plywood Corp. early Thursday, destroying the sawmill and leaving 170 employees jobless.
Firefighters first responded to the fire late Wednesday afternoon, thought they had extinguished the fire but got a call at about 1 a.m. Thursday that the fire was burning again.
One firefighter suffered an ankle injury, but there were no severe injuries, officials said.
“My heart goes out to Rutland Plywood and the 170 employees who lost their jobs in this morning’s fire,” Gov. Shumlin said in a statement issued by his office.
Shumlin said the state Department of Labor was deploying a rapid-response group to Rutland to work with jobless workers from the plywood factory and its human resources department.
Shumlin urged other employers in the region who might be willing to hire Rutland Plywood workers during the time the plant is vacant to contact the Department of Labor.
“This fire hit the Rutland region hardest, but with workers and their families also living in communities like Bennington and Springfield, the impact will be felt throughout the region,” the governor said. “We will do everything possible to get financial assistance to displaced workers as quickly as possible, and help Rutland Plywood get its plant restored.”
Firefighters don’t believe the fires were suspicious; rather they were believed caused by a mechanical failure at the plant.