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Published August 25, 2011, 02:55 PM

VIDEO: Fire Destroys Eldred, MN, Elevator

A state fire marshal will be investigating the cause of a large early-morning fire that destroyed a grain elevator in Eldred, about 60 miles north of Moorhead on U.S. Highway 75.

By: Forum Communications, WDAZ

ELDRED, Minn. – A state fire marshal will be investigating the cause of a large early-morning fire that destroyed a grain elevator in Eldred, about 60 miles north of Moorhead on U.S. Highway 75.

Firefighters were dispatched at 2:10 a.m. to a fully involved elevator fire at the Farmers Elevator Co. in Eldred.

More than 20 Crookston firefighters responded, along with a dozen or so from Beltrami, Climax, Fertile and Fisher who shuttled water with tankers, Crookston Fire Capt. Brian Halos said.

Crews were able to keep the fire from spreading to nearby houses and buildings, Halos said.

β€œIt sounds like the elevator itself was a total loss,” he said.

The fire was under control by 6:30 a.m., and the state fire marshal was expected at the scene this morning, Halos said.

Fire departments from Climax, Fisher, Mentor and Crookston responded.

The fire leveled a portion of the elevator that was built in 1958, according to Dan Grunewald, manager.

"Flames must have been shooting 50 feet out of the top when I got here," he said.

The elevator, which was full, contained about 150,000 bu of wheat and 50,000 bu of soybeans.

Richard Rock, fire chief of the Crookston Fire Department, said the biggest challenge in battling the blaze was water supply. Firefighters used an estimated 80,000 gallons of water.

Crews continued to spray water on two adjacent bins that contain about 50,000 bu of grain each.

A large trackhoe arrived on the scene at about 7:30 am to knock down the burned elevator, to help prevent the fire from spreading, Rock said.

Another challenge for firefighters was three LP gas tanks and some chemicals that had to be moved away from the scene.

When Grunewald arrived on the scene, he rescued the business computer and other equipment from the office.

"Then I got the hell out of there," he said. "I didn't know if it would explode again."

An insurance adjuster was expected to arrive this morning.

Grunewald said members of the farmer-owned business plan to rebuild.

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