Fire destroys maintenance shop at grain elevator

Some nearby homes were evacuated

Published On: Nov 27 2012 09:02:44 PM CST   Updated On: Nov 28 2012 04:54:19 PM CST
TOWN OF BRADFORD, Wis. -

Authorities said a fire destroyed an agriculture equipment maintenance shop at a grain mill in the town of Bradford on Tuesday night.

The Clinton Fire Department said it responded just before 8 p.m. to a fire at Gavilon Grain Elevator, 9231 E. Avalon Road.

Fire crews found the southeast corner of the building fully involved in fire with heavy black smoke coming from the overhead door located on that end.

There was a full anhydrous ammonia railcar located within 100 feet of the south east corner of the building. Exposures to grain storage bins and a grain dryer were on the west end of the building, according to the Clinton Fire Department.

There was a large above ground natural gas pipe located on the west end of the building.

Fire officials said there was a large above-ground natural gas pipe located on the west end of the building.

Authorities evacuated about 20 homes in the area about 8 p.m. Tuesday after the fire was located.

Quick thinking by one local resident brought more than 12 departments from around the area to help fight the blaze.

"And I saw flames and smoke and I thought holy cow and I came running out here and I saw the flames and I run in there and tell them hey, call 9-1-1 the mill's on fire," said nearby resident Raymond Pfeiffer.

"It was very frightening, very frightening," said evacuated resident Sharon Douglas. "You know to lose your home, and fear for the safety of others, you know residents that live here. It was very scary."

As of about 10:30 p.m. Tuesday, fire officials had contained the fire.

Authorities allowed all residents to return to their homes after the fire was contained.

Fire officials said the building and contents appear to be a total loss with early estimates not available.