Beltrami Business Believed to be Total Loss After Fire - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

Update: Beltrami Fire Ruled Accidental

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  The Polk County Sheriff’s Office and the Minnesota State Fire Marshal Division have investigated the fire at the Beltrami Mall and determined that the fire was accidental.  The Polk County Sheriff’s Office would like to remind the public that the building sustained very heavy damage and is not safe.  The building is also private property.  The public is reminded that no one is allowed in the building and legal action will be taken if necessary. 




  Fire destroyed the centerpiece of a small, northern valley town early this morning.

  It happened at Beltrami, 15-miles south of Crookston.

   The Beltrami Mall and its businesses, including the offices and shop for West Central Ag, a cafe, post office and barbershop were all lost in the fire.

    A passing motorist reported the fire just before 1 a.m..  Fire crews from Beltrami and surrounding towns had the fire knocked down by 5 a.m. . But, not before the blaze gutted most of the building.

  It's owned by the West Central Ag Company. The fire has left 15 of their employees without an office. It also destroyed the company's shop.

Danny Netland, Beltrami Fire Chief: "Basically it was their office for their elevator and chemical plant. The office and their main shop… destroyed."

  And a peek inside revealed  the cafe, barber shop and post office also located in the building, suffered very heavy smoke and water damage.

  The West Central Ag's safety director says the entire building may be a total loss.

Dale Moore, West Central Ag: "It's all full of smoke damage, the whole building, what's left standing."

Reporter: "Do you think the whole building is a loss?"

Moore: "In my opinion, yes."

  The Fire Chief says it appears the fire started back here in the shop area. But at this point, they're still investigating exactly what caused it.

  Whatever caused it has destroyed this community of 100 resident's gathering spot.

Marsha Schoenborn, Beltrami: "It was where the farmers have their coffee in the morning and good meals during the noonday. Yeah, quite a loss."

  At this point, West Central Ag managers are still trying to determine their next step. The main operations portion of the company, the elevator and chemical plant were not damaged.

  A State Fire Marshal is trying to determine the cause of the blaze.





An early morning fire destroyed the offices of a northern valley grain company Friday.

Firefighters say they were called out around 1:00 a.m. to a fire at the West Central Ag Center also known as the Beltrami Mall. Beltrami is 15-miles south of Crookston.

 Fire departments from Fertile, Ada, Borup and Crookston were called also to the scene. 

Crews say West Central Ag owns the offices and shop that were destroyed by that fire, the rest of the building has smoke damage.

The blaze was knocked down by 5 a.m. and crews continued to put out hot spots.

The Beltrami Fire Chief says is investigating the cause of the fire and say they believe it started in the shop area. 

The Safety Director for West Ag believes the entire building is a total loss.

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