Current River Pole is situated off West Highway 32 near the South Central Correctional Center at Licing. It makes wood utility poles and uses shavings for a packaged animal bedding product.

Firemen from 11 departments saved a building and some equipment Tuesday used at a manufacturing plant at Licking.

The call came at late morning at Current River Pole, where a division of the firm – Ozark Shavings Co. – packages pine shavings for use in the animal industry. The fire report quickly brought help from departments from Licking, Raymondville, Houston city, Houston rural, Roby, Edgar Springs, Duke, Montauk, Dent County, Arroll and Summersville. The plea for additional help came quickly after volunteers from Licking and Raymondville determined more manpower was needed.

For more than seven hours volunteers worked in temperatures hovering near three digits on Staples Lane off West Highway 32. The aim was to prevent additional wood products from catching fire and spreading. A steady stream of smoke could be seen emitting from the building during the afternoon.

No one was injured, but a few firemen were treated for heat exhaustion at the scene. An ambulance was situated on the parking lot, and a health agency brought water and other supplies to aid firemen. The Licking Police Department also assisted.

Danny Kuhn of the firm said some equipment was saved, and it is unclear whether other machinery exposed to extreme heat was affected. The cause of the fire is undetermined . A fire investigator from St. Louis was expected to be on the scene Wednesday.

“They did a fantastic job,” Kuhn said of the firefighters. “Through their efforts they saved things.”

The pole and shavings company employs 39. Kuhn said it will not be known when production can begin again until all of the equipment used in manufacturing can be assessed.

One of the principals in the firm, Tony Parks, is a Houston resident.


EARLIER: Firemen from several south-central Missouri departments are battling a blaze at a Licking industry.

Raymondville, Roby, Licking, Houston city,  Houston rural, Edgar Springs, Duke and Montauk firefighters are at the call at Current River Pole, where a structure devoted to a shavings operation is on fire, authorities said.

A report at about 2:15 p.m. by a Herald reporter on the scene said the fire appears to be contained to one building. Firefighters from several departments across south-central Missouri are battling it as the mercury approaches 100 degrees. Additional resources and manpower from Houston left for the scene at about 2:30 p.m. Thirty minutes later Summersville was dispatched.

The building is situated on Staples Lane off Highway 32 at Licking.

At about 12:40 more firemen were requested to respond.  Montauk’s fire department was called. Minutes later, the Edgar Springs Fire Department was dispatched. The fire was reported at late morning.

An ambulance is on the scene, as a precaution, due to the sweltering temperatures. Licking’s police department also is there. The Texas County Health Department also responded with water and other supplies. Houston’s aerial truck  was requested earlier.

The firm – in addition to manufacturing electrical poles – has an operation that allows it to bag shavings for use for animals’ bedding. Its primary business is utility poles. A principal in the business is Tony Parks, who is a Houston resident.

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