Fire begins to fizzle: Fire Chief: ‘I’m just glad no one’s injured so far.’

Published 12:00 am Friday, March 19, 2004

LIVINGSTON–With the dawning of a new day in the City of Livingston the fight continued to put an end to a blaze that engulfed the warehouse of Southwest Paper Sales INC. last night. The call came out from Livingston to the rest of the region asking for Mutual Aide in the effort to knock down the raging inferno.

The fight continued on throughout the night in an attempt to save as much of the building as they could. Yesterday around 10:30 am, the effort to stop the fire had taken a different approach from one of trying to pound the fire with hoses to one of ripping the building apart with the help of backhoes and bulldozers and spraying as they go.

Livingston Fire Chief Terry Peeler said there were no injuries so far from the fire. He also said luckily the warehouse closed at 3:30 pm on Wednesday.

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“I’m just glad no one’s been injured so far in this incident,” Peeler said.

Peeler said they used about 3,000 gallons of water a minute last night during the fight to save the warehouse. He also said now they are using about 1,000 gallons a minute since most of the fire has been contained.

“We used tens of thousands of gallons of water during this battle with the fire,” Peeler said.

He said that the warehouse contained about 2,000 rolls of paper and due to the amount of paper inside, it was going to take at least six to ten days to fully extinguish the flames.

The owner of Southwest Paper Sales INC. Matt Stephens said that they would like to thank the many fire fighters and cities that answered Livingston’s call for aide. He also said that tons of paper has been lost due to this fire, but that they planned to rebuild the warehouse.

“I would personally like to thank the City of Livingston and the rest of the cities that responded to the call. Even though the warehouse will be a total loss, we are still very thankful for all the help,” Stephens said.

The Mayor of Livingston Tom Tartt said thank goodness that no one was hurt during the fire. He also said that they had more paper in that warehouse then in the last three years.

“I’m just glad that their main operation wasn’t burned because then there would have been many Livingston residents out of work,” Tartt said.

Southwest Paper Sales INC. is a part of the Livingston North Industrial Park and is also a sub-contractor for Weyerhaeuser Company’s recycling business. The warehouse was used to store non-prime paper and to convert it for recycling or re-winding and resale.

Weyerhaeuser Company is one of the largest paper recyclers in the world.