The town of Libby has lost one of the last timber industry companies, SK Fingerjoint.
The Libby Volunteer Fire Department reports that SK Fingerjoint burned to the ground on Sunday.
About 25 volunteer firefighters spent more than 10 hours at the scene of the fire, with some remaining on at the site on Monday morning.
According to a social media post from the volunteer department, "our retired members came to help also and Troy VFD came to mutual aid us and stand by for any other calls that might have come along."
One minor injury was reported. The cause of the fire has not yet been determined.
The Lincoln County Sheriff's Office and the Libby fire marshal are still trying to determine what sparked the fire.
"Our hearts go out to those employees and families that work there (including one of our own volunteers). Even though this is what we train for, we never like seeing this happen and we always wish we could have done more," the Facebook post concluded.
We have a reporter heading to Libby and will update you as we get more information.
The company website provides this brief overview:
Located in Libby, Montana, the SK Fingerjoint mill was originally started by Champion International in 1984. Champion’s primary focus was to make standard lengths studs and in 1992 began developing a process to manufacture long length dimensional finger jointed lumber. In 1993 Stimson Lumber Company purchased the mill. Stimson operated the mill from 1993 until 2008 excelling in the manufacturing of finger-jointed long length dimension and studs. In 2008 Stimson sold the mill to Lincoln County and ceased operations. In 2014, after extensive private investment and machinery upgrades, SK Fingerjoint opened under the direction of Dan Kneller, a former Stimson employee and millwright. The mill has created a positive economic impact to what was once a thriving timber based town. SK utilizes the same production practices that Stimson used in the finger jointer for more than 14 years.