Fiberglass Plant Blaze Triggers Evac

Tuesday, January 24, 2017 @ 07:01 PM gHale

A warehouse fire that forced nearby Warren, MN, residents from their homes last Wednesday is under investigation, officials said.

Dispatchers got the call at 6:45 p.m. Wednesday for the fire that started at a Nordic Fiberglass facility at South Montana Street and Minnesota Highway 1, Marshall County Sheriff Jason Boman said Thursday.

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Firefighters from Warren, Crookston and Alvarado, Minn., responded to the scene, where the floor inside the steel building caught fire, Boman said.

It’s unclear how the fire started, but it appeared to have originated on the second floor that houses motors, Boman said.

“I don’t know for sure if that was the cause of it, but that is kind of where the fire was at,” he said.

The Marshall County Sheriff’s Department asked residents in a one-block radius from Nordic Fiberglass to leave their homes and find alternative housing for the night. Boman said with the chemicals inside, responders were unsure how the fire would progress and that’s why they took precautions to protect residents.

About 10 homes ended up evacuated, but Boman said residents could return home in a short while.

A trackhoe from Olson Underground of Warren tore down the south and west walls so firefighters could put out the flames. The blaze was mostly out by 11 a.m.

There was significant damage to the Nordic Fiberglass building, though Boman doesn’t believe it will be a total loss. The fire marshal, who was at the scene Wednesday, will return to investigate the incident further.

There was no fire damage to surrounding homes and no one suffered an injury in the incident, he said.

Nordic Fiberglass first opened a facility in 1970 in Devils Lake, according to its website. The company then opened a second branch in 1986 in Warren, which is its headquarters. The manufacturer produces fiberglass products for the electrical industry. That includes box pads for transformers, oil-filled switchgear, ground sleeves for sectionalized cabinets and other products.

Nordic Fiberglass’ general manager did not return messages seeking comment.

Boman gave credit to Olson Underground and the firefighters that helped put out the flames, adding everyone worked to their safety plant and kept each other safe.

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