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Wednesday, September 17, 2008

C. A. Elliott Lumber Company Down But Not Out!!

By James Jones
Roulette lumber processing business, C. A. Elliott Lumber Co., Inc, located at 200 Main Street in Roulette, Potter County, PA is down as a result of a devastating fire early Monday morning.

But it's not out of business!

The main processing building at the right in the photo below was destroyed, along with the sawmill part on the left.

Firemen from 4 counties responded along with the Roulette Chemical Engine Co., and were able to save six other buildings in the company's extensive complex. Winds from Hurricane Ike made things touch and go for the firemen for a while early Monday before mutual aid help arrived, but, they came from all over bringing ladder trucks, tower trucks, pumpers, and tankers and saved the day, and most of the company's buildings.

The company has been here since 1948, currently employs 16, and has been a major factor in the Roulette economy. Brothers, Ken and Kurt Elliott, purchased the company from their dad, Paul Elliott, who had seen the business through floods, business slowdowns, and managed to keep the business going over the years when sawmills were failing all over the place.

The company's workers were working on the 12,000 square foot building in the far center of the above picture on Wednesday, making bathroom facilities and a lunch room for the employees. Their old facilities were destroyed in the fire. That building, a former furniture store, was purchased a couple of years ago. Some manufacturing equipment had already been set up there.

At the company's office, located in a separate building which only sustained smoke damage, Kurt Elliott, was digging out tax papers, calculating the losses from the buildings and equipment that burnt, trying to get an idea how much it is going to take to get the production going again. Crews were waiting for the state fire marshals and insurance people to complete their investigation so they can begin the cleanup.

Thousands of board feet of finished lumber stock was stored in the buildings that burned. The company makes squares and dowels for the furniture and appliance industry, starting from maple, oak, beech, and cherry logs. They saw them, dry the lumber in dry kilns, and then process it into the products they sell.

The Fire Marshall from the State Police estimated $900,000.00 in damages in a news release, but the company was quoted in an area newspaper to have suffered a $1.4 million dollar loss. Company officials reported the loss was insured, but were not sure to what extent the loss would be covered.

The log yard has a big supply of logs ready to be sawed as soon as new buildings and saws can be set up. Elliotts had been thinking of adding a second shift as business had been picking up nicely, even though the economy had dropped off. The sales of dowels that they sell for vacuum sweeper brushes had revived after the Chinese dowels that manufacturers had switched to turned out to not be suitable for their use.
The new sawdust collection system and cyclone on the buildings to the left does not appear to be damaged, but the log de-barker in the foreground was badly burned.
This dry kiln in the left of the picture was not damaged, as well as the boiler room building, just to the left of the smokestack. Lots of partially processed lumber is stacked around the surviving buildings.

On Sunday night around 11:30 pm, someone called in a pole fire in the area of the trailer park located close to the rear of the complex. When firemen responded, they were not able to find anything amiss. A company spokesman says he thinks that event, in which several short power failures occurred, caused one leg of a 3 phase circuit to be lost, causing a fan motor in a dry kiln, located in the main building to overheat, and start the fire. The fire marshal has not listed an official cause yet, according to their press release.

The brothers are anxious to get the mess cleaned up and start putting their facility back together before the weather gets bad. Kurt said "It's a good business, we need to get it going again."

Please click on comments below to read or post a comment


Anonymous said...

I think the guys from Roulette Chemical Engine No.1 need to be commended on a spetacular job and great stop on the fire. As do the mutual aid companies but the guys from Roulette did a great job at the most critical part of the fire. Given the conditions such as High winds Unstable water supply, and being 3 O'clock in the morning roulette still managed to get 2 engines, a rescue, a tanker, and ambulance on the street with-in minutes thats fantastic for a volunteer fire company. It takes a special breed of individuals to with stand the Instense heat and Smoke conditions to save the most property they can. These volunteers deserve a pat on the back for all they do in the community! So thank you to all the guys and gils involved you did a fantastic job

Wallace Eaton said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Well Wallace let me ask you this how long after the fire started were you called to the scene? Roulette was the first company due and did an outstanding job on the stop. If you noticed I thanked every fire company that responded I'm not bashing any fire company I just congradulated Roulette for the stop. I wasnt there but I am a member of Dept 46 and I know for a fact that those individuals on scene for the most part attend all ambulance calls as well as fundraisers. And Wallace your comapny was brought in under mutual aid which means you chose to help which Roulette would do for you and not complain. I have the right to congratulate my fire deparmtent on a job well done and those who came to assist which I did. As far as pictures go show me how many Roulette Firefighters you see in the pictures. I see a lot more Ulysses Firefighters than Roulette firefighters. Again I'm not bashing anyone but dont bash my department just because we can get that much apparatus out the door. I dont know what the problem is over in Ulysses but we dont have that issue at this point, were both volunteer firefighters trying to accomplish the same thing and although we face diffrent challenges we still are doing the same job so lets not bad talk others. I congratulated your company along with every other company that responded to this fire so dont be offended but dont make it sound as though Roulette didnt do anything at this fire.
David Lacher
Roulette Chemical Engine No.1
Paxtonia Fire Comapny-Harrisburg Pa

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Mr. Eaton

I sure hope that you are not the spokes person on a regular basis for your company, I am sure that your Cheif's are not very proud of your comments!!

David R. Jones said...

To the Officers and members of the Roulette Fire Company and the many mutual aid Companies that were on scene and on standbye, I would like to say that Mr Eaton had no right to speak for the Harrison Township Fire Company. I know not what his problem is other than a lack of understanding of what the Brotherhood of Firefighters is all about. I have been Chief of the Harrison Valley
Fire Company for over 23 years, and have the greatest respect for all Firefighters. I have worked with the Roulette Fire Company both at emergencies and other functions and have always found the members to be hard working and dedicated.
Simply by looking at the fire pictures it can be understood that an excellent job of containment and extinguishment was done, under difficult conditions. A job well done.

David R. Jones, Chief
Harrison Twp Fire Company

Anonymous said...

Thank you Mr. Jones and I wasn't in anyway bad mouthing yours or any one else's company I was commenting on a job well done and as I stated although I wasn't there due to being at college in Harrisburg, I dont know the exact details but I felt the volunteers not just Roulette mind you deserve respect and a big thanks for a job well done! I'm a firefighter as well and its good to hear occasionally but apparently some take offense to it so at that thanks to everyone!
David Lacher
Roulette Chemical Engine No.1
Paxtonia Fire Company Harrisburg Pa

Anonymous said...

Your well respected chief 20 thanks for the comments I'm sure Roulettes firemen appreciate your staying to help hats off to all involved.

Chief 47 Roy Hunt said...

My name is Roy Hunt and I am the Fire Chief for Ulysses Pa. I want to sincerly appologize for the comments posted by a Junior member of our Department. He in no way was authorized to post such comments and certainly does not reflect the attitude or position of Tri-Town Fire and Ambulance Co. I have spoken to the owner of this site and requested he remove the offensive posting of an under-educated(about the fire service)Junior member. I also have spoken directly to Chief Kulp of Roulette to appologize and expresse my regret that that was posted.
We were able to provide 1 Engine with a total of 8 members. Yes, it was a confusing scene, but that is very normal for a fire of that size with so many departments from as broad an area as were there. The fact that so much was able to be saved amongst the buildings in close proximity to the fire speaks to the talent and dedication of all those there and especially those first on scene. Roulette did a fantastic job of holding the fire until mutual aid could arrive and help with extinguishment. Any call that causes no more harm and everyone can walk safely away from is a good call in my book. Good job to ALL those involved.
Please let us move on from this and learn from it. We need to strive to work together in our service to our communities and with our fellow brothers and sisters that give up so much for so little...The Volunteer Fire Service.

Anonymous said...

You all arent looking at the big picture. Mr. Wallace Eaton wasnt bashing any dept. he was just saying its not just one dept. that has the ability to get that much apparatus out. he was just saying that any dept is like that. if there is a big fire yeah then everyone is going to come out. like roy hunt said that they had one engine out with a crew of eight. to dave jones wallace just stated that ulysses and harrison township were on scene for a good majority of the day. he wasnt speaking for the dept. he was just expressing his opinion to the first commenter. so before you all start bashing one another and accusing wallace of being a low life that is under-educated who bashes everyone because you think he is saying that his fire co. that he belongs to is the best. i happen to be a very good friend of wallace and we got on the topic of this site. this site is intended for constructive critism. thats all it is. you get everyday news posted on here but it stirs the turd. when all wallace did was post a comment basically saying good job to the other depts as well as saying that its just not roulette that has the ability to get that much apparatus out the door. its any dept. that can do it. if there is a big structure fire then yea the doors with be flung open and everyone will show up. i feel that you guys should applogize to Wallace for stating his opinion. and if that causes a problem then maybe this site shouldnt allow people to post comments. because apparantly some people like the guy from roulette and the others that posted negatively towards wallace use the site to get at people because they cant man up to do so to their faces. if you would have re-read wallaces comment and pondered upon it for a few minutes maybe it would have registered to you that "hey wallace isnt bashing anyone, he is just stating his opinion that every dept. is like that. and the story behind his dept." so if this is the way you so called heros are going to act towards a fellow firefighter on this site. then maybe i should have a chat with the operator of this site about the way people are abusing his site and then maybe he will put a restriction on the comments part of it.

Anonymous said...

to Mr. Dave Lacher. there is no such thing as a special breed of fire fighter that can withstand heat and smoke. every firefighter is there for one reason. to help save the property. i must say good job to this wallace eaton for his comment he left. he put some time into posting that. i can relate to what he is saying by looking at all the depts. ive been to to visit and all the ones ive been a part of. to Mr. Dave Jones, Wallace was not speaking for the harrison township fire company. your making it sound like he posted a huge long story about the dept and what they did. i know just by reading wallace's comment that he understands the fire sevirce very well. he is a jr member according to roy hunt's statement. according to roy he is under-educated. but wallace has done something that most teenagers wont do. and that is make a difference. he went out and become a part of something that is a big part of the community. i look at the local schools and see all the trouble makers of the kids in the schools and wish that they could find a base in life and help their community by doing what wallace did and make a difference. but no they dont want to because of people like roy and dave. that go and run their own guys down. i witnessed the mayhiem on the fire ground that day. and i also noticed that roulette had about 5-8 guys just standing around while ulysses and harrison were working right away. wallace was one of them i noticed he was bouncing all over the place. so for you to go bash him like that. and you guys call yourself fire chiefs. you guys are supposed to be the head of the dept. some one for the jrs to look up to. yet you go online and act like he was in the wrong for expressing his opinion. so if its such a big deal to you guys then maybe you guys arent ment to wear the WHITE HATS. maybe the white hats are getting to your guys heads a little bit. i didnt see any part in wallace's comment that was derogatory to roulette. he was just stating that it was not just roulette that tackled the whole call. that others were involved that played a huge role in the day. im sure wallace's fire chief will probably take discipanary action about his comment which is grounds for suspension. but i think that is going a little overboard since. he was only stating his opinion. that would look real nice if he gets suspended for stating his opinion. wouldnt it? but if wallace would get suspended for that then maybe the people in his dept that are probably talking crap about him now should be suspended. im sure that is what his chief was doing and probably still is doing. why talk about some one online and behind their backs about stuff like this. granite wallace talked about his dept and the area depts. but it wasnt negative in any way. so cut the guy a break. we all are Volunteers. no one is better than another just because they have a white helment and a radio. that doesnt make you guys any better than him. you all are there for one reason and one reason only. to make your local communtiy a better place. if i recall mr dave jones. wallace is a member of your dept. there fore he has the right to talk about his dept. he doesnt need authroization to talk about the dept he is in. so if he does then maybe you should express that to him. but if people do need authroization to speak on behalf of their depts. then every one will have to get authroization. thats the problem with any chief these days. they over use their power and let it go to their head. there should be a one year term on chief. to be a chief for 23 is too long. i think its time they move you out and put some one alot younger inplace dont you think?
well that is all i have.
when wallace reads this he will know who posted it. so the next time you guys feel like screwing with wallace you are going to have to deal with me as well.
But, Wallace, i will applogize to you for the way that the other men and women acted towards you on this gossip central site.
thank you, good nite, and God Bless

Anonymous said...

My Sincer applogies to all of those i affended along with Dept. 46. i didnt mean for my comment to come out the way it did. but i guess i was wrong. i accept full responsiblity in the way it was posted. i had no intentions on affending any one in any way. it was just a comment as to what other depts are and ours as an example. i am really truely sorry for those who i affended. i wasnt trying to cause anything i was just stating my opinion which wasnt very good i guess. so i am very sorry to all of you and i will take full responsiblilty for my actions.

Wallace Eaton

Anonymous said...

For the last comment Anonymous why dont you state your name? Everyone else here has stated their name. Secondly what kind of authority do you have in the fire service? I'm not saying I know everything about the job but I do this on a regular basis so I know a little about what I'm talking about. And let ask you since you were there and all, how come Roulette,Port Allegany, and Eldred were the last companies to leave the scene at 10pm. Roulette and every other company there did a fantastic job but Roulette was there and they did work. They made a great stop on the fire and busted there butts. So before you go running down those guys what did you do? Overhaul? I am not a fire chief nor do I claim to be, if you would have actually looked at my blog you would seen that I'm just a firefighter like everyone else. And as far as me manking negative comments towards Mr. Eaton I didnt I just question him on what he posted and again if you would have read my blog you would have know that. I merely stated that everybody did a good job at this fire and Roulette had a good stop meaning that what was burning was burning and what wasnt didnt. You also stated that when fire companies get big fires everybody from every where shows up, but I can show you that we average 12-15 people for Fires,accidents,trainings,fundraisers, so just because we had a fire didnt change much it was for the most part the same people. And anytime you want to see me face to face to discuss this matter we can, but let me just say that I'm in Harrisburg and thats why I posted these comments to say thanks to everybody involved up there, and you blew it out of proportion. I' sure you have offended not only me but others by what you have just posted were here to do a job and you have turned it into something negative by bashing other fire companies. And if you were there that means you ran with either Ulysses or Harrison Twp, and if so you also bashed either one of your chiefs so your credidbility is shot. So before you run your mouth get the facts about what happened at the fire and be man enough to post your name like the rest of us.
David Lacher
Roulette Fire Company No.1
Paxtonia Fire Comapny-Harrisburg PA

Anonymous said...

First off let me start out by saying everyone that was at the Elliot Lumber Co. Fire did a tremendous job. In my opinion all of this bashing on here needs to stop. Even though some firefighters have more training then others we are all still equal, and are here to do one job. The fact of the matter is people are missing the big picture....all of the departments that were there worked together to get the job done, and EVERYONE went home. Once again a job well done to everyone involved!

Anonymous said...

Great save by all departments.

Anonymous said...

Thank You Wallace, We know you did no mean it.

Anonymous said...

This is absolutely ridiculous!!!! Listen to you guys, you all sound like a bunch of teenagers just like Mr. Eaton. Heaven forbid if he isn't afraid to voice his opinion..I had great respect for the people in the Ulysses Fire Dept...take notice to the HAD. I happen to know all of you and I am sure you all know who I am...Mr. Eaton's sister Pam. I will be honest I have no part in a fire dept..i may not know all of the in's and out's of one. but one thing is for sure you are going to suspend a young man for voicing his opinion when it wasn't negative in any way. what has happened to freedom of speech...does that not exist in this 'fantasy world' that you firefighters are living in right now. Everyone from every company did the right thing by coming out and assisting the Roulette fire dept. and for Mr. Eaton..yeah he blows up sometimes, but the only thing he was doing was sticking up for his dept. If anyone know anything about Wallace he has had to go through a lot of crap to be where he is right now. I am very proud of him and i thought his dept had the same respect for him as i do but apparently not!!! The Ulysses fire dept wants 'younger' people to get involved so the 'older senior members' wouldn't have to do as much. How do you think this is going to look to possible future members of this dept. Not very good....Wallace looked somewhat relieved when he got suspended and I don't blame him. You all, including Wallace, need to take a good look at who you are and what you are here for. Not bashing other companies and certainly not your own company!!! Wallace has apologized for his comment and his actions but i have not seen anyone else doing what he did. He was brave enough do admit when he is wrong, i think some of you older 'more educated Sr. members' have a lot to learn from the supposed 'uneducated Jr. member'!!!!

Anonymous said...

Thank You Pam, Finally someone knows what I have been going upon. but they will never learn. because they have functioned like that for years. but oh well thats not my problem. it will get to them eventually.
But Thank You Very Much Pam.
Love your Bro,