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Livingston's R-Y Timber to close 70-employee business after second fire

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Posted at 12:02 PM, Feb 15, 2023
and last updated 2023-02-15 14:02:20-05

R-Y Timber is closing its doors after decades of operating in Livingston. Their planner building was destroyed by fire in September and last week, the inside of their sawmill was also destroyed.

“It’s gonna be hard to say goodbye to everybody,” said Doug Rogers, an R-Y employee of eight years.

And his co-worker John Miller agreed.

“We’ve had a lot of fun, it’s been a great job,” said Miller who has worked at R-Y Timber for 13 years.

Rogers and Miller said what they enjoyed most about the job was that there was always something to do.

“Usually, I’m in a machine digging stuff up or swinging logs around in the air,” said Rogers.

But, since their sawmill went up in flames last week, Rogers and Miller say all they’ve been doing lately is picking up the pieces. This is something R-Y has been doing since September when their planner building burnt to the ground.

“The first fire, I had been on vacation for two weeks it was my Monday coming back,” said Rogers. “I had just had a baby daughter.”

Fast forward to February 7…

“To come to work last week and see firetrucks all here again…it was pretty heartbreaking in a lot of ways,” said Rogers.

Dan Richards, the GM for R-Y Timber says he felt the same way.

“It’s like what next...We just had a fire a few months ago and we were dealing with that and kept all our employees,” said Richards.

But now, Richards says they no longer have the resources to rebuild.

“In another month, the planner would be up and running but we still had another half a million dollars to put into it,” said Richards. “They just decided to shut it down.”

Richards says his heart goes out to all R-Y employees right now.

“Most of them will be put on unemployment by the end of the week,” said Richards.

Some of them are just a few years away from retirement.

“One guy has worked here for over 40 years,” said Richards. “For them to have to go out and start a new life, find new jobs, and possibly move…it’s a difficult deal.”

But in the meantime, Rogers and Miller are doing their best to stay positive.

“Things happen for a reason and who knows, maybe some sawmill company will buy this place,” said Rogers. “I’m sure we’ll all see each other.”