Back online: Burned-out Freres veneer plant reconstructed in four months

December, 2017 Posted in Business, Community
Plant 4 Rebuild as of Nov. 18_3

The rebuilt Plant 4 at Freres Lumber Co. in Lyons. Submitted Photo

Workers displaced by the disastrous fire at Freres Lumber Company’s Plant 4 on June 26, are back at work in the veneer production facility in Lyons. Freres crews and contractors brought the plant back online in a remarkable four months’ time. It produces dry veneer used internally and sold all over the Pacific Northwest.

“After four months and a lot of hard work, we’re up and running again,” Kyle Freres, vice president of operations said. “It has not been without trial and tribulation, however. We had hoped to be online last month, but a large-scale electrical failure held us up. On Nov. 2, the electrical problem was resolved and we are now, thankfully, operating again.”

Work at the facility is nearly complete. BMI Contractors are wrapping up building repairs; and Freres electricians, along with Northside Electric’s crews, are putting the finishing touches on the building’s electrical system.

“Manpower is an issue at this point; some employees left after the fire. With the replacement of lighting lost in the fire, and the new interior paint, the work environment in the building is much improved,” Freres said. Those interested in applying for jobs should contact Tim McCollister at 503-859-4228.

“Looking at pictures of the fires blazing in the building, and the charred inventory, and realizing how recent the fire was illustrates the extraordinary accomplishment of everyone who worked on the project,” Freres said. Operations are nearly back to normal, which is a relief to the company, its employees and customers. “We want to say ‘thank you’ to those who made this rebuild possible.”

Freres Lumber was established in 1922. Under three generations of family management, the company has evolved from a small sawmill to six plants, including a small log veneer plant, large log veneer plant, veneer drying facility, studmill, plywood plant and
cogeneration facility.

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