Cause of fire that destroyed grain elevator in Edgeley under investigation
A fire on Friday, Nov. 11, destroyed a grain elevator in Edgeley, North Dakota.
EDGELEY, N.D. – The origin and cause of the fire that burned down a grain elevator here have not been determined and the investigation is continuing, according to Doug Nelson, state fire marshal.
Nelson said his office is assisting the Bureau of Criminal Investigation, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and local authorities with the investigation of the fire on Friday, Nov. 11. He said investigators were at the scene in Edgeley on Monday and Tuesday.
“At this time, it’s an active investigation and we don’t know what the origin or cause are yet,” he said.
Nelson said his office works together with the Bureau of Criminal Investigation and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to investigate fires and it doesn't mean the cause of the fire was a result of criminal activity.
Steve Powers, Edgeley fire chief, said the area was fenced off and people were going through it earlier this week.
“I think they are removing some of the stuff so the investigators can look at things,” he said.
He said he was unsure where the fire at the grain elevator started. Edgeley Mayor Calvin Triepke told Forum News Service Friday evening that the fire probably started in the office portion of the CHS facility before spreading into the wooden elevator.
“That will be determined by the investigation,” Powers said.
A fire that began Friday night left the grain elevator owned by CHS Dakota Plains Ag a smoldering pile of ash. The grain elevator is located along 1st Street and 6th Avenue in Edgeley.
The Edgeley Fire Department along with the LaMoure and Kulm fire departments fought the blaze from 6:30 p.m. Friday until about 2 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 12, Powers said.
“And then we went into a maintain mode from there,” he said. “You can’t put it out, so you make sure that it doesn’t spread or flare up or get any surrounding structures or anything else. You are basically just monitoring it.”
He said firefighters were fortunate with the direction of the wind on Friday evening.
“We did have things downwind that we had to protect and keep an eye on,” Powers said. “The majority of the embers that were going up in the air weren't going over the heart of our community.”
The LaMoure County Sheriff’s Department also assisted at the scene and Edgeley Ambulance was also there.
Powers said all of the fire departments did an outstanding job of containing the fire to the structure that was burned while not having any other additional fires in Edgeley.
“Everybody worked safely. We had no accidents or injuries which is a big thing,” he said. “A fire that size can sometimes be overwhelming. I thought we responded very well.”
CHS Dakota Plains Ag could not be reached for comment. On Saturday, CHS Dakota Plains Ag posted a statement to the company's Facebook page saying: “Last evening, a fire started within our grain elevator operations at our Edgeley, ND facility. The cause of the fire is not yet known and we are assisting local authorities as requested. No injuries have been reported and all our employees are safe.”