Cause of Fire Inconclusive - Spontaneous Combustion Suspected

Two firefighters watch the south end of the fire as it continues to smolder. Two firefighters watch the south end of the fire as it continues to smolder. Photo by Jordan Huether

Early Saturday morning, area firefighters were called to a fire at Farmer’s Co-op in Gordon. Several neighboring departments were brought in to assist Gordon, Rushville and Hay Springs with the blaze, including Chadron, Valentine, Merriman, Martin and Crawford.

According to Farmer’s Co-op Interim CEO/Chief Financial Officer, Dale Anderson, the structure that burned was a wooden ingredient warehouse structure that housed ingredients used in the feed mill. The fire was reported early Saturday morning between 4 and 5 a.m. “There are no injuries, which we are thankful for,” stated Anderson.

The investigation into the cause of the fire has been ruled as inconclusive, but according to Anderson, it pointed to spontaneous combustion of feed ingredient material within the wood storage bins as the most likely cause of the fire.

The grain handling side of the operation is still up and running, and the feed store is open. “We’re still taking customer orders and working on getting an alternate production source lined up for the milled feed,” Anderson said.

There is still no estimate on damage totals, and they don’t expect to know for quite some time. 

According to Mark Becker of NPPD, 254 customers were without power while they isolated powerlines so crews could fight the fire. In order to isolate the lines, the power had to be shut off. Becker stated that power was restored to everyone by 6:45 p.m.

Last modified onWednesday, 30 October 2013 09:27

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