Multiple agencies fight large grain elevator fire in Clinton


CLINTON, Minn. (AP) – Firefighters from multiple agencies battled a large fire at a grain elevator in small western Minnesota city where some residents were evacuated.

According to Big Stone County Sheriff Mark Brown, crews were called shortly before 11 a.m. Sunday to the grain elevator, which had become fully engulfed in towering flames.

Officials in Clinton, with its population of about 500 people near the South Dakota border, declared a civil emergency by midday. Residents were advised not to use water, roads were closed and those living within three blocks were told to evacuate.

Resident Janine Torgerson Teske posted a live video of the blaze on social media, asking for prayers for the firefighters on the scene.

“Our community could use your prayers right now, our elevator’s on fire,” she said.

The whole community pitched in to fight the flames at the Wheaton Dumont Co-Op elevator. Local farmers brought semitrailer trucks of water to help, and a local bar was providing food and water to the firefighters working in the heat, Teske said.

The elevator was the heart of the community, Teske said.

“It’s been part of the skyline for years and we’re a farming community,” she said. “It brings people to town, it brings business to town.”

Officials say no injuries have been reported and there's no word yet on what may have caused the fire.

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