Manthei Veneer Moving Forward After Devastating Mill Fire in Emmet County

No one was injured in a fire at Manthei Veneer’s mill in Emmet County, but fire officials now say the building is a loss.

The fire broke out at the mill in Resort Township Tuesday night.

Multiple departments responded and as of Wednesday morning some were still putting out hotspots.

The business currently employs about 90 people.

9810’s Aaron Parseghian spoke with the company president on how they’re handling the loss.

“We are going to work real hard on putting together a plan on how we are going to move forward,” said Manthei Veneer President Jeremy Manthei

Manthei Veneer now in the early stages of moving forward after last night’s devastating fire. The cause of which is still unknown but fire officials say it’s not suspicious.

“In any wood processing facilities you always have the potential of fire just because of the dust and dust explosions, and you can try and be the cleanest shop around, but that’s just part of the game with that type of manufacturing," said Resort Bear Creek Fire and Rescue Chief Al Welsheimer

The 10,000 sq. foot facility is a loss. For the Manthei family history repeated itself, as they look back on another fire sparked 50 years ago.

“Watching years of hard work burn to the ground. When he talks about the fire of 1967 and gets teary I can’t imagine now seeing it go to the ground again,” said Kathryn Manthei, her father in-law started the company.

The company says it is working tirelessly to run as normal, without a key component of their operation.

“It’s kind of an upstream process to a lot of what we do, but not all of what we do and that’s why we are working on how we utilize the resources that we still have, both people wise and equipment,” said Jeremy Manthei.

Manthei says the business has already gotten over a hurdle like this in the past, and now hopes their luck holds.

“It’s really sad, we value the employees we’re a family business, been here for 75 years and our goal is to be here another 75 years so this obviously a setback,” added Jeremy.

Manthei says they are still in the very early stages of developing a contingency plan. At the moment it’s unclear if any layoffs will occur.

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