As the fire burns; a Berkshire lumber business opens it's doors - NEWS10 ABC: Albany, New York News, Weather, Sports

As the fire burns; a Berkshire lumber business opens it's doors

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Photo of the blaze at the Dresser-Hull Lumber and Building Company in Lee, Massachusetts. (PHOTO: Jennifer Krause) Photo of the blaze at the Dresser-Hull Lumber and Building Company in Lee, Massachusetts. (PHOTO: Jennifer Krause)
Photo of the blaze at the Dresser-Hull Lumber and Building Company in Lee, Massachusetts. (PHOTO: Jennifer Krause) Photo of the blaze at the Dresser-Hull Lumber and Building Company in Lee, Massachusetts. (PHOTO: Jennifer Krause)
Lumber and Building Supply Company on Wednesday morning, after the fire was put out. (Photo: Christine O'Donnell) Lumber and Building Supply Company on Wednesday morning, after the fire was put out. (Photo: Christine O'Donnell)
Lumber and Building Supply Company on Wednesday morning, after the fire was put out. (Photo: Christine O'Donnell) Lumber and Building Supply Company on Wednesday morning, after the fire was put out. (Photo: Christine O'Donnell)

LEE, MASSACHUSETTS - The fire still burns at a Berkshire Lumber Yard Wednesday after an explosion from the night before. Fire crews weary as they struggle through ice to get to the source of the fire.

"The fire hoses and nozzles keep freezing," Lee Fire Chief Alan Sparks said. The explosion happened at Dresser-Hull Lumber and Build Supply Company's warehouse around 7:45 Tuesday night. The cause of the fire is under investigation by both the fire department and the N.Y. State Fire Marshall.

"Inside there are cubes of plywood and different material such as that. It's all banding together and it starts fires that could burn for hours and hours and even days," Chief Sparks said.

Chief Sparks says the fire looks accidental he believes it may have started in the south end of the building.

"We'll start taking it apart piece by piece to figure it out," Sparks said.

The lumber company has been a staple in the town of Lee for the last 100 years; the owner of the business Richard Shields says he's not going to let this fire change that.

"We are open for business," Shields said.

Shields says he watched as hundreds of thousands of dollars in construction materials were lost; including 6 trucks.

"The heat built up and the oxygen hit it and it let go. It blew; it just blew;" Shields said. "The whole roof was on fire 40x160 was burning," Shields said.  

While crews continue to investigate the cause of the explosion; Shields says with the help of his community and suppliers he will have replaced all that he lost in less than 48 hours.

"That's why I live here, that's why I live here," Shields said as he started to choke up.

Though no one was directly injured by this fire; an elderly man who lived across the street passed away from a heart attack shortly after witnessing the explosion. The shields are remembering him tonight.

Fire Chief Sparks says he and the State Marshall should have more on what caused the fire Thursday morning.

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