Update: Fire crews deal with blaze in Wadena for a second day
WADENA, Minn. (Valley News Live) -
Update: On Tuesday, May 31, at 3:27 am, firefighters from the Wadena Fire Department were called back out to Minnesota Valley Irrigation for a rekindle. Fire personnel were on scene for approximately 2 hours cleaning up hot spots.
Due to the chemicals being stored inside the building and the large amount of water being used to extinguish the fire, the Wadena Fire Department consulted with the Minnesota Duty Officer Hazardous Material Division to ensure the safekeeping of the chemicals. A large sand dike was made to contain the chemicals on the west side of the building. This situation is being monitored by the fire department, local emergency management, and State Fire Marshal’s Office.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation, but officials have said it was unintentional.
The total loss dollar amount is undetermined at this time.
Original story: As of 6:30 PM Monday, the Wadena Police Department is no longer requesting residents to shelter in place.
The blaze was reported just before 3:00 p.m. as a shop fire at 602 Ash Ave NE, in the city of Wadena. The building was being used by Minnesota Valley Irrigation for storage and equipment operations. Due to chemicals being stored for agricultural purposes, the City of Wadena was under a shelter in place order.
Images showed large clouds of smoke billowing into the sky Monday afternoon. Wadena Police said the smoke is not dangerous to breathe in, but people were encouraged to close their windows and shut off air conditioning units.
The Wadena Deer Creek High School was open if people needed a place to go.
Multiple agencies were called for mutual aid to fight the fire at the large building. At approximately 6:00 p.m., fire personnel and EMS on scene were evacuated to the Wadena County Courthouse because of a tornado warning that was issued. Within 30 minutes, firefighters were able to return back to the scene. The building was deemed at total loss.
Tri-County Health Care staff responded to the all-hazards incident due to the possibility of chemical gas approaching the hospital and clinic. Patients were evacuated to designated safe areas within the facility. Maintenance and the engineer on call quickly disabled the ventilation system to stop the spread of gas. This process was completed without incident and all observations indicate that chemical laced gas did not enter the facility.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation. Fire personnel was on scene until around 8:00 p.m.
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