A Halifax-area lumber producer hopes to have its sawmill running again within six weeks after a recent flash freeze led to the collapse of one of its main buildings.

Hefler Lumber co-owner Floyd Gaetz says the failure happened about three weeks ago, and initially threw 14 people employed in the Middle Sackville mill and sorting line out of work.

“Not a great deal of snow and ice, but strong enough to blow out one wall that created a domino effect and took out 138 feet of new roof, along with all the walls and equipment below it,” Gaetz tells CBC News.

Half of those put out of work have been brought back to help with the reconstruction effort.

“We are under construction and we’re building as fast as possible,” Gaetz says.

The six week-time frame is particularly important as that’s when a new biomass power plant is due to come on line. The plant has been under construction for 14 months and needs to be fed by wood biomass produced by the mill.

Gaetz says the roof has a good pitch and was replaced last summer. It appears warm weather followed by a cold snap that took out one of the walls, leading to the collapse.