- Associated Press - Saturday, January 2, 2016

BEARDEN, Ark. (AP) - A New Year’s Day fire destroyed a major department at a sawmill in Bearden, but a company official says the mill will be open within a week.

Anthony Timberlands Inc. President Steven Anthony told reporters the fire was discovered about 12:30 a.m. Thursday and destroyed what is known as the band mill, where large logs are processed.

Anthony said about a dozen of the mill’s 215 employees work in the department and will be reassigned. He said the mill will resume operations within a week at reduced production levels and that it will take eight to 10 months to replace the band mill.

Anthony said the cause of the fire had not been determined.

The fire comes less than a week after a tornado struck the sawmill and caused minor damage.

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