Massive lumber yard fire burns $1 million in wood; motorcycle shop may be total loss

LEMOYNE, Pa. (WHTM) – Firefighters spent 15 hours battling a massive blaze at a Cumberland County lumber yard.

More than 100 firefighters from at least 40 companies took park in battling the flames at Lafferty and Co., Inc. between 9:30 p.m. Monday and 12:30 p.m. Tuesday.

Crews said they would return to the Hummel Avenue business only if hot spots reignite. One company returned for a rekindle at around 3 p.m.

State police are investigating the cause.

Chuck Felak, the owner of the lumber company, said none of his employees were working when the fire started. He said the flames destroyed four buildings filled with lumber and burned $1 million worth of wood.

“We don’t know anything about the start of it,” Felak said. “At this point, it’s speculation until we get in and see.”

“It’s a no-smoking facility,” he added. “There are very few places where there would have been any kind of potential.”

Felak said fuel on the property may have contributed to the size of the fire. Smoke and flames could be seen from miles away.

“There’s a great amount of disappointment but some encouragement we’ve received from both our customers and competitors and vendors and the willingness to work with us to get back up and going,” Felak said.

The flames spread to a neighboring business, Vicious Cycles Inc., a motorcycle service shop. Co-owner Scott Fisher said firefighters were able to save some of the motorcycles in his business, but it appears the building is a total loss.

“The firemen did an excellent job. They got all the bikes out that were not on lifts, so any they could roll out the door they got out. They did a wonderful job,” Fisher said. “They had a big truck here and were pumping all the water trying to save our building, but the fire was so strong there was nothing they could do.”

Fisher said he plans to rebuild.

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