Fire rescue units from Newberry, High Springs and Alachua County responded to a blaze at Southern Fuelwood early Thursday morning.
Newberry Fire Chief Mike Vogel said the call arrived around 3 a.m. and finished about four hours later. He said a temperature alarm alerted the business of a fire inside kiln 6.
The company uses kilns to dry firewood in accordance with Florida requirements, a system that has caused repeat fires and concerns. Vogel said kiln 6 uses metal baskets to hold the firewood which is probably why that kiln has never had a fire.
A June fire in kiln 12 resulted in two injuries to crew members and prompted pushback from Alachua County Fire Chief Harold Theus. At the time, Mainstreet reported that Southern Fuelwood owner Pat Post, Newberry leaders and Theus planned to sit down and discuss the frequent fires.
Vogel said Thursday that the meeting happened. He said the group continues discussions on making the facility safer, including a new special sprinkler system, but Vogel added that those changes take time.
Kiln 12 remains offline following the June fire because of damage. Vogel said the company will need to get an engineering report on the structure and turn the report in to the city before using the kiln again.