Limited damage after fire at Pukall LumberSubmitted: 07/09/2013
Story By Lex Gray

ARBOR VITAE - A fire at Pukall Lumber last Wednesday didn't slow the company down.

No one worked Thursday and Friday, but that was because of Independence Day, not because of the fire. Now, everything but the paneling shop is up and running.

"The fire started right here at our chipping operation, we chip scrap up and blow it into our silos," said vice president Rick Wilson. "There's some foreign object, we think, that got into our chipper that created a spark and started the fire."

Wilson can't remember the last time they had a fire like this.

"We had an employee who noticed some smoke coming out of the top of the building and when we got to the fire, it was already quite large," he said. "We did what we could with the fire extinguishers until the fire department came."

Arbor Vitae fought the fire along with five other departments. Firewalls helped, too.

"The building is really not a total loss," Wilson said. "This is one corner of a very large building. The firewalls did their job and we were able to limit this fire to this one section."

Wilson guesses the damage here will probably run about half a million dollars.

"This building is only paneling and flooring operation. It's a minor part of our business, so overall, we will rebuild it, but it won't have a significant impact on our operation."

Wilson says a fire in any other part of the building would have done millions of dollars' worth of damage. He's also grateful for a quick response.

"I want to thank all the local volunteer fire departments," he said. "They did a great job, they responded quickly and they were very professional."

The panel shop will take at least a few months to rebuild.

Text Size: + Increase | Decrease -
| Print Story | Email Story
Sponsored in part by HodagSports.com

What We're Working OnSubmitted: 12/01/2015

- Children covered the Christmas tree outside the Minocqua Town Hall with ornaments and decorations Tuesday, but they weren't any old ornaments. Tonight at 5, we'll show you how each one had a special message of thanks.

- Plus, it's the first night when high school basketball is in full swing in the Northwoods. We'll have a preview.

We'll have the details on these stories and more tonight on Newswatch 12 - news from where you live.

+ Read More

RHINELANDER - Police think an Outagamie County man saw a well-known Oneida County crime site as an opportunity.

Thirty-eight-year-old Mark Spietz is accused of breaking into the home where Thomas and Jennifer Ayers were found murdered back in March.

Seventeen-year-old Ashlee Martinson faces homicide charges for their deaths.

Investigators believe Spietz stole things like ATVs, a trailer, and a lawn mower from the home in October.

Spietz had his cash bond reduced in Oneida County Court on Monday, and his case will move forward.

He will return to court at the end of this month.


Kaitlyn Howe contributed to this report.

+ Read More

HURLEY - More people in Iron County will get broadband internet soon.

Hurley will get three new towers for broadband access, thanks to a state Broadband Expansion Grant.

+ Read More

RHINELANDER - After a weekend of deals and discounts, businesses now turned the tables. On December 1st, local and big business worked to give back to those in the community for "Giving Tuesday." 

"We try every day to do that because people deserve it and we would not be here without the people who shop here," said Rhinelander GM/Toyota Digital Marketing Coordinator Jo Hettwer. 

We had Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and now Giving Tuesday

+ Read More

ANTIGO - Students in Antigo can now eat healthier food when they're at school. The Unified School District of Antigo started two new programs this year to provide its students more nutritious options.

The district started using the Universal Free Breakfast program at North Elementary School and the Middle School.

+ Read More

CHICAGO - Some Cook County and Chicago leaders say they're not satisfied with Mayor Rahm Emanuel dismissing Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy.

The mayor announced McCarthy's firing Tuesday amid an outcry about a newly released video showing a white Chicago police officer fatally shooting a black teenager 16 times.

+ Read More

NORTHWOODS - Many people will decorate their houses with Christmas trees this season. You can cut down one from the national forest.

It costs $5 for a permit to cut down one tree. They can be purchased at any US Forest Service Ranger Station.

This year, fourth graders can get one free cutting permit. Each household is limited to five permits.

+ Read More
+ More General News

Click Here