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Large Fire at RD Offutt Potato Company near Perham, MN - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

Large Fire at RD Offutt Potato Company near Perham, MN

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    Fire crews from around the area worked through the night controlling a fire in Perham Minnesota. On Wednesday the building is now a smoldering pile of ash. R.D. Offutt Company did release a statement
    Fire crews from around the area worked through the night controlling a fire in Perham Minnesota. On Wednesday the building is now a smoldering pile of ash. R.D. Offutt Company did release a statement

Updated Story 11:20PM:

It will be a long night for fire crews in Otter Tail County, who are still at the scene of a fire at a potato warehouse. The call came in shortly before five, and it didn't take long for flames to
spread.

The potato warehouse is located on the West edge of Perham on County Highway 80. Roads in the area were blocked off to allow firefighters easier access.

Up to 17 crews from around the area were involved in the battle. That made for more than
120 firefighters involved, and includes several tanker trucks from all over the region.

When Valley News Teams Kristi Larson had left the scene she said one side of the warehouse had caved in, and firefighters told her the fire fight is far from over.

This is a big building, the warehouse is as long as a football field and wider.

Authorities say that an employee reported the fire after noticing smoke coming from the warehouse. A Perham police officer earlier told Valley News Live that he did not believe anyone had been injured.

"I pulled into work and it was like nothing," says Teresa Ternus who watched the fire from across the street, "and within 10 minutes I came walking by the window and I heard a boom, something was exploding in there and there was just flames everywhere!" 

The warehouse is owned by Ron Offutt's Company, which is the largest potato producer in the country.

"It appears the building is going to be a total loss by the end of the night here." says Perham Fire Chief Mark Schmidt.

Crews took turns controlling and trying to put out the fire in poor weather conditions.

"There's a lot of freezing water going on so we want to make sure no one slips and falls and gets hurt, so that's a concern here." Chief Schmidt.

The fire department tells us they're going through a lot of water. People in Perham may notice low water pressure for a while, or even a slight tint to their water, but it shouldn't be anything to worry about.


Original Story:

We have breaking news out of Otter Tail County to report: Fire crews are on the scene of a large fire at the RD Offutt Potato Company near Perham, Minnesota.

The Otter Tail County Sheriff's Office says the fire was called in about 4:30 p.m. and as of 5:30 p.m. several emergency crews are still on scene.

The building is just west of Perham on Highway 80. We're being told roads in the area are blocked off due to the emergency response. One Valley News Live viewer says she is in New York Mills and can see smoke from there.

Details are limited right now, but we do have a crew on the way and we will bring you information as it becomes available.

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